Trans­gen­der can­di­date en­ters U.S. Se­nate race

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NEWS -

NORTH BETHESDA, MD. >> Chelsea 1

Man­ning in­tends to run for the U.S. Se­nate in Mary­land, re­turn­ing the trans­gen­der for­mer soldier to the spot­light af­ter her con­vic­tion for leak­ing clas­si­fied doc­u­ments and her early re­lease from mil­i­tary prison. Man­ning, 30, filed her state­ment of can­di­dacy with the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion on Thurs­day.

She is run­ning as a Demo­crat and will likely face two-term Sen. Ben Cardin in the pri­mary. The state’s se­nior sen­a­tor is an over­whelm­ing fa­vorite. Known as Bradley Man­ning at the time of her 2010 ar­rest, the for­mer Army in­tel­li­gence an­a­lyst was con­victed of leak­ing more than 700,000 mil­i­tary and State Depart­ment doc­u­ments to the anti-se­crecy web­site Wik­iLeaks. She’s been hailed as a traitor as well as a coura­geous hero. Man­ning came out as trans­gen­der af­ter be­ing sen­tenced to 35 years in prison. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama granted Man­ning clemency be­fore leav­ing of­fice last year.

The con­ser­va­tive me­dia or­ga­ni­za­tion Red Mary­land first re­ported Man­ning’s in­ten­tion to run. Man­ning told The Wash­ing­ton Post on Satur­day that she might re­lease more in­for­ma­tion in the com­ing days. Cardin spokes­woman Sue Wal­it­sky did not di­rectly ad­dress Man­ning’s can­di­dacy or any­one else’s. But she said “Cardin is look­ing for­ward to a vig­or­ous de­bate of the is­sues and a ro­bust con­ver­sa­tion with Mary­land vot­ers.”

Man­ning would not be the first trans­gen­der can­di­date to chal­lenge a sit­ting mem­ber of Congress. Kristin Beck, a re­tired Navy SEAL who is trans­gen­der, failed to un­seat U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer in Mary­land’s Demo­cratic Pri­mary in 2016. Beck got 12 per­cent of the vote.

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