From Activist to Candidate: Sarah McBride and the Fight for Transgender Rights in Government

From Activist to Candidate: Sarah McBride and the Fight for Transgender Rights in Government

Sarah McBride speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 28, 2016.

State Senator Sarah McBride announced on Monday that she will be running for Delaware’s at-large seat, becoming the first out transgender member of Congress, if she wins. McBride, a Democrat, plans to fill the seat currently held by Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, who announced her candidacy to replace retiring US Senator Tom Carper last week.

“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, whichever candidate wins the Democratic primary for the at-large seat will most likely win the general election in 2024.

McBride’s announcement comes amid Republican attempts to curtail transgender rights both on the presidential campaign trail and in statehouses.

McBride has had many significant accomplishments in the past, including being the first transgender person to speak at a national major party convention at the age of 25. She also served as the first out transgender White House staffer when she interned in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs during Barack Obama’s time as president. In 2020, she became the nation’s first openly transgender 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 highlighted her successful efforts in the Delaware Senate, where she represents the Wilmington area. Her announcement video showcased her efforts to get paid family and medical leave. Prior to her time in the state 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 Governor Jack Markell.

McBride’s announcement was accompanied by numerous 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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