Longtime incumbent state Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) is seeking a 14th term on Nov. 7. His challenger is Democrat Danica Roem, who would be the first openly transgender elected official in Virginia and one of only a few nationwide.
Here are five things to know about Marshall, one of the staunchest conservatives in Virginia’s Republican-majority House of Delegates:
Maryland roots: Marshall, 73, grew up as a Democrat in Montgomery County and ran as an independent for the Maryland House of Delegates in 1974. His first vote as a Republican was for Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Antiabortion work: Marshall has been a researcher for the American Life League and the Family Research Council, and director for family life affairs at the Catholic Diocese of Arlington. He was first elected to the House of Delegates in 1991.
Anti-tax lawsuit: In 2008, Marshall successfully sued the state to nullify a transportation funding law that gave taxing authority to non-elected regional authorities, arguing it violated Virginia’s constitution. He later voted against another transportation funding law that uses state tax revenue for new road projects.
Core issues: In addition to opposing just about every kind of tax, Marshall argues for creating reversible traffic lanes on Route 28 as a way to relieve traffic congestion. His legislation on social issues includes a “bathroom bill” earlier this year that would have regulated where transgender people can use the bathroom in government buildings. The bill died in committee.
Home life: Marshall and his wife, Cathy, live in Manassas, where his hobbies include photography. One of their five children died in a traffic accident in 2001.