Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate seat in Maryland

Frederick Owens
January 14, 2018

Chelsea Manning, the transgender soldier who was convicted of giving classified information to WikiLeaks, has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission for a U.S. Senate bid in Maryland.

According to federal election filings, Manning will look to challenge Democrat Benjamin L Cardin, who is now serving his second term as senator. Cardin is Maryland's senior USA senator, elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2012.

The Washington Post first reported Saturday that Manning has filed to run in Maryland for the seat of Democratic Sen. Cardin won reelection in 2012 and is now the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency before leaving office previous year.

Manning was arrested in 2010 after an internal US Army investigation found she had leaked more than 700,000 sensitive documents and videos to news outlets across the world, including WikiLeaks.

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Manning was arrested in 2010 after she gave Wikileaks nearly 75,000 documents related to the war efforts in the Middle East and information about Guantanamo Bay prisoners. Cardin is relied upon to a win the race to serve a third term.

Speaking to Vogue in August, she refused to discount running for political office in the future.

Cardin's spokesman and the Democratic Party of Maryland declined to comment on Manning's filing. His campaign committee has almost $2 million in cash on hand, according to the FEC.

Manning would not be the first transgender candidate to challenge a sitting member of Congress. Despite her criminal record, can she run for U.S. Senate? She has also been a columnist on transgender rights and government transparency for The Guardian. Manning, originally from Oklahoma, moved to Maryland after her release. The general election is November 6.

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