A transgender woman made history after defeating a longtime conservative lawmaker for a seat in Virginia’s legislature in Tuesday’s election.
Democratic candidate Danica Roem, a journalist, unseated Republican incumbent Del. Bob Marshall who has served in the House since 1992.
She has become the first openly transgender person to serve in the House of Delegates, according to the Victory Fund, an LGBT advocacy group that endorsed Roem, 33.
Marshall, 73, has previously attacked Roem’s gender identity in campaign ads and interviews, and also referred to himself as the state’s “chief homophobe.”
He also received backlash for sponsoring a bill that would restrict bathrooms for transgender people. The proposal was eventually rejected.
Roem, however, was focused on jobs, education and traffic congestion during the race.
And Tuesday night proved victorious for Roem, who had discussed her gender identity on the campaign trail.
“For 26 years I’ve been proud to fight for you, and fight for our future. Though we all wish tonight would have turned out differently, I am deeply grateful for your support and effort over the years,” read a post on Marshall’s Facebook page after the defeat. “I’m committed to continue the fight for you, but in a different role going forward.”
Roem previously told the Associated Press that politics should be inclusive of all people.
“No matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love, if you have good public policy ideas, if you’re qualified for office, you have every right to bring your ideas to the table,” she told the AP.