Virginia Del. Roem faces off against newcomer Woolf in 30th Senate District race

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Del. Danica Roem faced off against first-time candidate Bill Woolf Sept. 28 at an election forum for the state Senate’s 30th District, where Roem touted numerous legislative accomplishments as a three-term delegate against critiques of her record.

The 30th Senate District, which comprises western Prince William County and the entirety of Manassas and Manassas Park, is viewed as an outside pickup chance for Republicans.

Roem, a Democrat who is seeking her fourth term in the General Assembly after three in the House of Delegates following a lengthy career as a journalist in Prince William County, trumpeted a number of bipartisan efforts as a delegate, including providing free school lunches for Manassas and Manassas Park students as well as boosts to the county’s transportation infrastructure.

The 30th Senate District, which comprises western Prince William County and the entirety of Manassas and Manassas Park, will likely be viewed as an outside pickup chance for Republicans. (

Woolf is a Prince William native who has spent most of his career in various forms of law enforcement, including as a detective in the Fairfax County Police Department, a human trafficking investigator and a deputy director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s victims office. He currently heads a consultant group.

The Republican touted his career in law enforcement and pledged he would work to reduce crime in Prince William by being tougher on defendants and working to restore the public’s perception of police to boost recruiting efforts in the Prince William County Police Department, which suffers from understaffing.

As it has across the country, crime in Prince William has risen sharply since 2020. In 2022, all crime rose by about 14% from the year prior, though the county’s crime rate remained below where it was in 2014 and still below the state’s crime rate in 2022, according to the county’s annual police report for last year. Notably, the countywide homicide count rose to 20 in 2022, double what it had been the year prior.

“I think this is a direct result [of] soft-on-crime policies that we have seen out of Virginia,” Woolf said of the rising crime rate at the forum that was hosted by the Prince William Committee of 100.

As many Virginia Republicans have in recent years, Woolf emphasized allowing parents greater control over their kids in public schooling.

“Schools should nurture, educate and protect our children by providing a safe environment in which they can flourish, not alienate kids from their parents or encourage them to make wrong choices,” Woolf said.

On the issue of parental involvement in student pronoun usage and gender policies, Roem said schools should consider the matters on a case-by-case basis to not risk children being shut out by parents who may not approve of their decisions.

Woolf said schools should work to help parents understand choices their child wants to make and not exclude them from the conversation.

On abortion, Roem said she would work to introduce a constitutional amendment to bring abortion rights in Virginia to a referendum vote to allow residents direct say in regulations surrounding the procedure. Woolf did not outright oppose abortion but took issue with policies that permit late-term procedures.

The 30th Senate District is rated “lean Democratic” by the Virginia Public Access Project. Roem has raised more than $1.13 million to Woolf’s more than $320,000, according to VPAP.

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