Transgender candidate enters U.S. Senate race
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.