Diversity

Virginia’s 2017 Elections: How the Swing State is Swinging Back

Written by Maggie Hatt, Co-Editor In Chief

The November elections that took place across the country marked a turning point in the political momentum of one state in particular- Virginia. Perhaps one of the most-watched races was that between Danica Roem and Robert Marshall for a seat as a delegate for Virginia.The Virginia House of Delegates is one of two parts of the Virginia General Assembly, and is composed of 100 members elected for two-year terms. In 1999, the GOP took control of the House for the first time since Reconstruction; by that time, Marshall had already served seven years as a representative for the 13th District. Indeed, Roem’s victory over incumbent Robert Marshall who served over two decades in the House has been pivotal for the political stage.

Roem was sworn into office on January 10th, 2018. She is part of one of the most female-dominated, young, and diverse groups as of now, and has made a huge impact already, being the first openly transgender lawmaker in the country. Her win over Marshall has affirmed the presence of transgender people in mainstream America. Roem ran a strategic campaign, focusing on things like fixing Virginia’s problematic Route 28, and emphasizing the transparency and efficiency that government should have. While she has become a symbol for the ascendency of transgender people into politics, Roem has tried to focus her campaign around issues that would not alienate those who are not as accepting of L.G.B.T.Q.+ people, but whose votes were still up for grabs. She labeled herself as a stepmom, journalist, and lifelong resident of Manassas- all things that make her, well, her, and most likely more relatable to voters who were still on the fence about the election. Roem’s win over Marshall marked the the beginning of a transition in Virginia back to blue, and reflects the notion that a candidate’s platform is first and foremost the most important aspect of any election.

 

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Categories: Diversity, Politics

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