WASHINGTON, D.C. - “I think the first notion we wanted to get involved in the race was when we saw how much Danica was out-raising Bob Marshall,” said Terry Schilling, Executive Director of American Principles Project. “We found out late in the summer that Danica had raised about $600,000, and Bob had pulled in about $100,000 at that point."
Tuesday, Democrat Danica Roem defeated Republican incumbent Bob Marshall in Virginia’s 13th House District, snagging a seat in the House of Delegates.
Come January, she will become the state's first transgender state legislator.
“If you look at Danica's funding, it came from all across the country. I think they realized what the race signified, having a transgender candidate defeat a long-term social conservative candidate. The implications of that are pretty big, and I think that their donors knew it; our donors did not,” said Schilling.
Despite the loss, Schilling believes the data collected from the race can have implications for conservatives in future races.
“Marshall outperformed Ggillespie in 17 of the 24 precincts and outperformed Gillespie the most in districts that were largely non-white. I think it had a lot to do with the messaging,” he explained.
He added that “the district that he outperformed Gillespie the most was Limestone, which is 55 percent white.”
When the American principles project got involved they began making phone calls and pushing out digital ads attacking Roem.
“Roem supported teaching kindergartners about transgenderism and how to change their gender. When it comes to the issues of integrating bathrooms between members of the same biological sex, voters were coming our way. In fact, our polling showed that 37 percent of Democrats were less likely to vote for Danica when they found out these types of things,” Schilling claimed.
Schilling said because certain precincts went for Marshall, more so than Gillespie, the American Principles Project believes this type of messaging had an impact and can be applied in future campaigns.
What’s next? Schilling hopes Pennsylvania’s governor's race will be.
“We’d like to show that we can bring over Democrats and Independent voters once they find out extreme policy positions,” he concluded.
Schilling said each of Roem's votes cost roughly $60.