Politics

Danica Roem: 'A knowledgeable transgender person can do well in government'

Making history in Virginia

(CNN) - Danica Roem knew she had made history this week when former Vice President Joe Biden called to congratulate her.

"When the Vice President calls, that's when you know it's time to declare victory," Roem said Friday on CNN's "At This Hour." The Democrat's win Tuesday means she will become the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature.

A photo of Roem falling to her knees on Election Night after telling supporters about Biden's call soon went viral.

While the focus has been on her defeat of a longtime incumbent and social conservative, Roem told anchor Kate Bolduan that she credited a true "team effort" for propelling her to victory in Virginia's House of Delegates.

During the campaign, Republican opponent Bob Marshall refused to debate Roem or use the pronouns that align with her gender identity.

When asked what she would say to him, Roem replied, "Come this January, once I'm sworn in, you know, I'm not in the business of attacking my constituents, and Delegate Marshall will be one of my constituents."

She said recognizes the historic nature of her election victory, but she's quick to note her primary concern will be to address the "core quality-of-life issues" that residents face in northern Virginia's 13 District.

Specifically, she said, "The job to do is to help get Route 28 fixed through Centreville and part of Yorkshire so we can replace traffic lights with overpasses where possible to alleviate our commutes in the 13th District."

Promising to be "the most inclusive, best delegate" she could, Roem said she plans to show that "a well-qualified, knowledgeable transgender person can do great work in government, whether it's dealing with transportation policy, education policy, or, yeah, civil rights, too."