Metro Weekly

Victory Fund endorses Danica Roem for Virginia House of Delegates

If victorious, Roem would become the first state legislator to be elected to office as an out trans person

Danica Roem – Photo: Facebook.

Danica Roem, the first out transgender candidate for the Virginia General Assembly, has scored yet another key endorsement as she seeks the Democratic nomination for a seat in the House of Delegates.

On Monday, the Victory Fund, a national organization dedicated to electing out LGBTQ leaders to office, announced it had given Roem a “spotlight” endorsement, noting that, if successful, she would become the first state legislator to be elected as an openly transgender candidate. The organization released Roem’s name along with a slate of seven other LGBTQ candidates seeking election or re-election this year.

“We have a groundbreaking opportunity to make Danica Roem the first state legislator to win as an out trans candidate — and we are determined to help her to a primary victory this June,” Aisha Moodie-Mills, the president and CEO of Victory Fund, said in a statement. “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. 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 faces a field of three other Democrats in the June 13 primary for the right to challenge Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas), one of the General Assembly’s loudest and most vehemently anti-LGBTQ members. Earlier this year, Marshall proposed a “bathroom bill” that would have barred transgender people from using public restrooms and other facilities that match their gender identity. 

Roem previously netted an endorsement from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal grassroots organization, in her bid to unseat Marshall.

Roem, who previously attended a campaign training by Victory Fund’s sister organization, the Victory Institute, in Dallas last November, recalls that the session for potential candidates was one of the “most intensive, most vigorous” candidate trainings she had ever attended. She credits the training with helping her plan for her current race by providing her with advice on how to organize her campaign, raise money, and carry out a field strategy for knocking on doors and motivating supporters to flock to the polls.

“Without question, without the Victory Institute, I would not have been prepared to run this race,” Roem told Metro Weekly. “I would recommend to any LGBTQ person: if you are considering running for office, or you are considering entering management of a campaign for office, you need to go to the Victory Institute’s candidate campaign training program, because it will fundamentally change your perspective and inform your worldview on how campaigns are won or lost.

“With Victory Fund on our side, we are in prime position to win the Democratic nomination and defeat Del. Marshall in November,” added Roem. “To earn a spotlight endorsement, I’m thrilled beyond words. I cannot thank them enough.”

John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com