On 7 November 1871, Roller was elected to the Virginia State Legislature as a member of the Conservative Party in a contest primarily between Conservatives and Republicans. The Legislature convened on 6 December 1871, less than a month after the election. In the House of Delegates, Roller was a member of the committees of education, schools and colleges, public appropriations and others. (He joined the Republican Party in the 1880s because of a disagreement over a state debt issue.) His time in the Legislature ended on 2 April 1873, and he was not a candidate for reelection in November of 1873.
His attendance at legislative responsibilities was limited in time and it is believed he continued to manage the school during his brief absences.