Democrat Danica Roem is challenging longtime incumbent state Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) on Nov. 7. If she wins, she would be the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia and one of only a few nationwide. Here are five things to know about her:
Local roots: Roem, 33, has spent most of her life in the Manassas area, in Prince William County. She began working as a reporter and editor for the Gainesville Times newspaper after graduating from St. Bonaventure University in western New York.
Love of the press: The House of Delegates candidate developed an interest in journalism because of her grandfather’s devotion to his daily newspaper.
Times of transition: Roem, who would be the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia, began her physical gender transition in 2012, and legally changed her name from “Dan” to “Danica” in 2015.
Musical intrigue: The death metal band Roem co-founded, called Cab Ride Home, is named after a memorable night spent inside a Springfield club with fellow band members. Roem is the band’s lead singer.
Key campaign issue: Roem has promised to be a voice of inclusion and bring more and better-paying jobs to her district. But her main policy goal is reducing traffic congestion on Route 28, which has plagued the area for decades.