Sarah McBride announces bid to become first transgender member of Congress

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State Sen. Sarah McBride announced on Monday her bid for Delaware’s at-large seat, a race that would make her the country’s first out transgender member of Congress, should she win.

McBride, a Democrat, is aiming to fill the seat currently held by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, who announced last week that she is running to replace retiring US Sen. Tom Carper.

“My commitment is to the people in Delaware who aren’t seen, who don’t shout the loudest or fund political campaigns: parents busy raising their children, seniors worried about paying for prescription drugs, and working people struggling to keep up,” McBride said in a statement.

In solidly blue Delaware, whoever wins the Democratic primary for the at-large seat would almost certainly win the 2024 general election.

McBride’s campaign for Congress comes as Republicans, on the presidential campaign trail and in statehouses, have taken aim at transgender rights.

At 25, McBride spoke at the Democratic National Convention, becoming the first transgender person to address a national major party convention. She was also the first out transgender White House staffer when she interned in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs during Barack Obama’s administration.

In 2020, she became the nation’s first person who publicly identifies as transgender to serve as a state senator.

“This campaign isn’t just about making history – it’s about moving forward. To strengthen our democracy, we need effective leaders who believe in taking bold action and building bridges for lasting progress,” McBride said.

She touted her successful efforts in the Delaware Senate, where she represents the Wilmington area, to get paid family and medical leave in her announcement video. Prior to her time in the state’s legislature, she worked as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign. She also worked for Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, President Joe Biden’s late son, and former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell.

McBride’s campaign announcement was coupled with a slew of endorsements from advocacy groups.

Kelley Robinson, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said McBride’s “lived experiences, courage, and proven record of leadership has prepared her to bring the fight of Delaware’s families to our nation’s capital.”

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