April 24, 2017 at 7:03 pm EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Victory Fund endorses Danica Roem

Danica Roem, gay news, Washington Blade

Danica Roem is a transgender journalist who is challenging Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) (Photo courtesy of Danica Roem)

The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has endorsed a journalist who would become the first openly transgender person elected to the Virginia General Assembly if she defeats Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County) in November.

Danica Roem is among the eight statewide and local candidates for whom the organization announced its support.

“We have a groundbreaking opportunity to make Danica Roem the first state legislator to win as an out trans candidate,” said Victory Fund President Aisha Moodie-Mills in a press release, noting Roem would also become the first openly trans person elected to a state legislature in the country.

“Currently there is zero trans representation in any state legislature, making it easy for extremist politicians to push forward the flood of anti-trans bills we’ve seen across the country,” she added. “Representation is power, so a win for Danica is a critical first step to electing more trans people who can be a voice for the community and fight back against anti-equality efforts.”

Roem has repeatedly criticized Marshall over the series of anti-LGBT bills that he has introduced. These include a measure he proposed earlier this year that would have banned transgender people from using public bathrooms based on their gender identity.

Roem is running against Brentsville Magisterial District Democratic Committee Chair Mansimran Kahlon, Steven Jansen and Andrew Adams in the Democratic primary that will take place on June 13. The winner will face Marshall — who has represented the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1992 — in November.

“Earning a national spotlight endorsement from the Victory Fund is so incredibly rewarding when you consider just how hard we’ve worked since the campaign began Jan. 3,” Roem told the Washington Blade in a statement, noting she attended a Victory Fund training that took place last November in Dallas.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee endorsed Roem last week.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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