Minority and LGBT candidates won local elections last night, fueling a blue wave in a massive rebuke to President Donald Trump and his administration.
In the state of Virginia, where Democrat Ralph Northam defeated Republican Ed Gillespie in the gubernatorial race, Danica Roem became the first openly transgender lawmaker to be elected in the state after she defeated incumbent delegate Bob Marshall, who had been elected 13 times over 26 years, for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. Roem bested Marshall by nine percentage points.
Roem’s win was especially significant because Marshall had positioned himself as an enemy of the LGBT community for years. In addition to authoring legislation which would enable refusal of service to persons based on same-sex “marriage” or homosexual behavior by any public or private business in some way licensed by the state, Marshall introduced the “Physical Privacy Act” (HB 1612), a bill which would have restricted the use of restrooms and changing facilities to the individual’s sex––defined as assigned at birth––in January 2017. During the campaign, Marshall ran attack ads against Roem and refused to refer to her by the proper pronouns.
“To every person who has ever been singled out, who has ever been stigmatized, who has ever been the misfit, who’s ever been the kid in the corner, who’s ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own because there is no one else with them, this one is for you,” Roem told her supporters last night.
When asked about Marshall, she had a rather eloquent response.
When asked about Bob Marshall, Danica Roem said “I don't attack my constituents. Bob is my constituent now.”
— Nicholas Trevino (@BlyTarbell) November 8, 2017
Roem wasn’t the only transgender politician to make waves. Halfway across the country, in Minnesota, Andrea Jenkins won a seat in the Minneapolis City Council to represent the city’s Eighth Ward ward, winning more than 70 percent of the votes. Her win, according to The Advocate, makes Jenkins “the first trans person elected to a major city’s governing body and one of the first out trans people of color elected to any office in the United States.” Previously, Jenkins worked as a policy aide to departing Council Vice President Elizabeth Glidden.
Victory Fund president and CEO Aisha C. Moodie-Mills released the following statement:
Andrea Jenkins shattered a glass ceiling tonight – becoming the first out trans woman ever elected to the city council of a major U.S. city. Andrea ran on improving the lives of constituents in her ward, but the significance of her victory for the trans equality movement is undeniable. Americans are growing increasingly aware of trans equality and people, and this win will surely inspire other trans people to run for office and further inclusion in their communities.
So proud of movement auntie, Andrea Jenkins, who became the first openly trans woman of color elected to the city council of a major U.S. city. She’ll represent Ward 8 of Minneapolis! So much history being made tonight! #AJ4W8 #TransFolksCanWin #ElectionDay pic.twitter.com/AJqvDt9E7q
— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) November 8, 2017
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