October 18, 2017 at 11:38 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Joe Biden endorses Danica Roem

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Former Vice President Joe Biden this week endorsed Danica Roem in her race against Virginia state Del.
Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County). (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Former Vice President Biden this week endorsed Danica Roem in her race against Virginia state Del. Bob Marshall (R-Prince William County).

“As someone who spent decades riding the train to work, I’m proud today to endorse Danica Roem’s historic candidacy because I know her emphasis on improving transportation infrastructure is critical to improving the quality of life for thousands of Virginians,” said Biden in a statement to the Democratic Party of Virginia that it released on Monday. “I know she’d make people of her lifelong home of Prince William County proud by working to improve their commutes and strengthen the middle class while serving them with compassion in Richmond and Manassas.”

Roem in her own statement to the Democratic Party of Virginia said she is “humbled” by Biden’s support.

Roem, who is a former journalist, would make history as the first openly transgender person seated in any state legislature in the country if she were to beat Marshall in November.

Marshall, who is among the most vocal opponents of LGBT rights in the Virginia General Assembly, has represented the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates since 1992. The Prince William County Republican has repeatedly attacked Roem and her gender identity during the campaign.

The American Principles Project — an organization that opposes marriage rights for same-sex couples and promotes other conservative positions — earlier this month launched anti-trans robocalls that 13th District residents received. Marshall on Tuesday included a link of a 2015 interview with American Principles Project Chair Sean Fieler in which he said society is “wrestling with the idea of whether or not we want to accept that people exist independently of their bodies as really the transgender community is claiming as we should.”

“The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund and other out of state leftist organizations have been funding my opponent to the tune of over a hundred thousand dollars,” wrote Marshall. “They’ve decided that my race is where they try to advance their radical agenda.”

A campaign finance report that Marshall filed with the Virginia Department of Elections indicates Fieler — who lives in Princeton, N.J., — on Sept. 11 donated $20,000 to Marshall’s campaign.

Editor’s note: The Washington Blade interviewed Roem in Haymarket, Va., on Oct. 13. The interview will appear in next week’s issue.

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

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