In 1992 a transgender woman was voted into the Massachusetts House, but didn't disclose her gender identity until after she was elected.
Roem, a 33-year-old former journalist, focused his campaign on improving traffic routes and garnering increasingly progressive rights for transgenders, while the 13-term incumbent Marshall ran on a promise to preserve the more conservative values Virginia has historically espoused.
Roem raised more than twice as many funds as Marshall, receiving significant donations from out of state and national donors including the Victory Fund, a national group that aims to elect LGBTQ leaders.
Marshall had been at odds with LGBT issues and had proposed a state bill in 2015 that would allow anyone who has a license with the state to refuse services to gay people and earlier this year introduced a bill to restrict transgender people's access to public restrooms, CNN local affiliates reported.
Marshall made Roem's gender identity a source of attacks in the campaign too, repeatedly using male pronouns to refer to Roem and sending out an attack ad on a flyer based exclusively around Roem being trans.
"It's hard to imagine two candidates appealing more to two such different elements of the electorate", University of Mary Washington professor Stephen Farnsworth said before the election, according to The Washington Post.
On the campaign trail, Marshall and other Republicans repeatedly misidentified Roem's gender.
During the campaign Roem made herself available for numerous public appearances and interviews and executed an aggressive ground strategy. She says she was very specific about the issues her campaign was built on, and it resonated- in part, because of her background. The race was one of the year's most high profile, drawing global attention and big money to the northern Virginia House of Delegates district outside the nation's capital.
There were plenty of reasons progressives were so overjoyed by the results in Tuesday night's elections. "We shouldn't just be pigeonholed into the idea that we're just going to be fighting about bathrooms".
"Thank you Hoboken. I look forward to being your Mayor!"