POLITICS

LGBTQ Activist Sarah McBride Announces Campaign for Delaware State Senate

McBride would be the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history if she wins the 2020 race to replace a retiring Democrat.

Sarah McBride, an LGBTQ activist and national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, announced a Democratic campaign for Delaware Senate District 1 on Tuesday.

If she wins the 2020 election to replace retiring state Sen. Harris B. McDowell (D), McBride would be the first openly transgender state senator in U.S. history.

“I’ve spent my life fighting for people to have dignity, peace of mind, and a fair shot at staying afloat and getting ahead,” McBride said. “Sen. McDowell’s retirement at the end of this term is a well-deserved cap on a remarkable career of public service, and now our neighbors need someone who will continue to fight for them.”

McBride, a Wilimington, Delaware, native, has long been involved in politics, and has worked on the campaigns of former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and the late state Attorney General Beau Biden.

At the 2016 Democratic National Convention, McBride became as the first openly transgender person to speak at a major party convention.

Sarah McBride is running for Delaware's state Senate District 1 in the 2020 election.
Sarah McBride is running for Delaware's state Senate District 1 in the 2020 election.

Other openly transgender individuals have been elected as state lawmakers, including Danica Roem, who was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, but none have won state senate races. 

In her campaign announcement, McBride addressed people she hoped to serve. 

“Right now, a father in Bellefonte is worrying about his daughter’s struggles with addiction and wondering where she’s going to get treatment,” she said. “A working mom in Claymont is deciding whether to give up a day’s wages to stay home with a sick child. A woman in Wilmington is putting her retirement on hold because she can’t afford her husband’s chemotherapy. We can meet these challenges, but it will take big ideas and the courage to act.”

McBride quickly gained a celebrity endorsement.

McDowell has served in the Democratic-controlled state Senate for four decades. Democrats also hold the majority in the Delaware House of Representatives. 

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