Metro Weekly

Danica Roem reads Republicans for their arguments over election losses in Virginia

Delegate-elect derides Republicans' "divisive" campaign messaging and says it cost them the election

Danica Roem – Photo by Julian Vankim

Virginia Delegate-elect Danica Roem (D-Manassas) has debunked Republican theories about why they lost several key races in Virginia earlier this month, highlighting their divisive campaign messaging and relentless focus on right-wing identity politics — including Roem’s gender identity.

In a series of tweets, Roem, Virginia’s first elected transgender delegate in history, pointed to Republicans’ obsession with social issues, rather than focusing on local matters such as transportation, schools, and health care, calling it one of the chief reasons she and other Democrats swept to power in this year’s elections.

“Since the election, I’ve repeatedly heard these Republican talking points about why they lost, basically making Democratic voters out to be too dumb to vote Republican and caring too much about identity politics,” Roem tweeted. “At risk of giving them good ideas, let me break this down.”

Roem also noted that she and other Democrats focused on serious, quality-of-life issues, only to be attacked by people who alleged she wasn’t a serious candidate or was somehow focused on “identity politics.”

While anyone who was breathing and aware in Northern Virginia over the past year — including national media — knew that fixing the infamous Route 28 was among Roem’s chief campaign promises, Roem says she was never attacked for her stance on substantive issues, but rather for her gender identity.

Roem also noted that Republican gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie’s campaign, which was called out by many national media outlets as copying or adopting the successful playbook of President Trump, fell flat in Virginia, largely because their claims about Democrat Ralph Northam weren’t believable.

She noted that she was not the only candidate to be unfairly attacked, citing the campaign of Delegate-elect Lee Carter (D-Manassas).

Roem concluded her tweet storm by advising Republicans to focus less on divisive political campaign tactics and more on their constituents’ needs.

A spokesperson for the Republican Party of Virginia declined to comment on Roem’s tweets.

One thing’s for sure: those who thought Roem would fade into obscurity after the election and wouldn’t fight back have clearly underestimated her.

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