Virginia Del. Robert G. Marshall likes to compare himself to a World War II Marine — storming the beach and taking bullets as he tries to advance his conservative cause.
Now, the 13-term Republican incumbent is facing what could be his toughest reelection battle, with Democrats gunning hard for his seat this November as part of their strategy to cut into the Republican majority in the House of Delegates and launch what they hope will be a national resurgence for their party following the election of President Trump.
Marshall’s opponent, Danica Roem, would be the state’s first elected official who is openly transgender, an identity that the incumbent describes as “against the laws of nature and nature’s God.”
Moreover, she is attacking both Marshall’s conservative social agenda and his effectiveness in dealing with local district problems.
In other words, Marshall, 73, is in his element.
“Help me protect conservative values in Virginia!” Marshall says in a campaign flier seeking donations. “My defeat would signal that holding these principles is a detriment to being elected.”