Danica Roem uses her platform to help other Democrats
By Keya Vakil
May 14, 2019

Freshman Del. Danica Roem (D-Prince William) has made a name for herself since becoming America’s first openly transgender state legislator in November 2017. Now, she’s using her platform to help Democrats win control of the General Assembly.

According to the Washington Post, her campaign returned $107,000 in unused 2017 funds to the House Democratic Caucus, and that money is being directed toward at-risk Democratic incumbents and Republican districts that Democrats are targeting this election.

Roem has also knocked doors for other Democrats, such as state Sen. George Barker (D-Fairfax), and advised other transgender candidates around the country, all while maintaining a relentless focus on tangible issues facing her district.

The combination of her remarkable win in 2017, her attention to wonky issues such as infrastructure, and her regular interactions with constituents have allowed her to develop something of a celebrity profile.

In recent months, she’s attended events with 2020 candidates Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg, receiving significant praise from the latter.

Roem’s presence in the spotlight has made her a fundraising force in the Commonwealth.

After members of the Westboro Baptist Church recently protested Roem, she used the event to raise $36,000 online. As a result, Republicans have largely steered clear of personally attacking Roem, for fear of energizing her large network of supporters.

Those supporters are the reason she’s already raised $280,200 for her re-election campaign, in which she’ll face off against Kelly McGinn, a conservative activist and outspoken opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment. For her part, McGinn has only raised $49,400 so far.

Despite her celebrity status, Roem remains focused on her district and her state.

Roem continues to push for more transportation funding for Northern Virginia, and she knows that to do that, Democrats need to gain control of the General Assembly.

Republicans currently hold a two-seat edge in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate, but after 2017’s historic gains, Democrats see a majority within reach.

Roem recognizes that. “The fundamentals are there for us to win this election and bring in a majority,” Roem told the Washington Post. “I want to make sure we get there.”

© Photo: Shelly Prevost

  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

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