BALTIMORE, January 13, 2018.: Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman formerly known as Pfc. Bradley Manning, was convicted of leaking classified documents in the United States. Manning received a 35-year sentence for leaking more than 700,000 government files to WikiLeaks in 2013. Those files detailing information relating to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. She also provided Wikileaks State Department cables.
Manning campaign video released
Manning is running for a Senate seat in Maryland where she now lives after being released from prison. The news was first reported by media outlet Red Maryland. The candidate has released her first campaign video vowing to fight for the underrepresented.
“We need to actually take the reigns of power from them, we need to challenge them at every level. We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore, we can do better. You’re damn right we got this,” the video added.
Manning vs Cardin
Manning will be challenging incumbent Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD 3rd District). Holding his seat since 2007, Cardin’s strong fundraising base has kept him from being a vulnerable candidate in Maryland.
However, someone with national name recognition such as Manning may possibly weaken Cardin’s chances at re-election. She may also be able to tap into the LGBTQ block.
Senator Cardin’s Spokeswoman Sue Walitsky says the senator is looking forward to a vigorous debate of the issues and a robust conversation with Maryland voters. Cardin has served two terms.
Treason sentence commuted by President Obama.
After President Obama commuted, not pardoned, Manning’s sentence in 2016, she moved to Maryland where she is running as Democrat in this July’s Democratic primary.
Manning is currently writing for Medium and The Guardian on the issues of civil liberties and free speech. Harvard recently rescinded an invitation for her to be a visiting fellow after facing an intense backlash.
It’s unclear if she has a serious shot at becoming Maryland’s next Senator, but in a world where Oprah is becoming the Democrat’s next strongest presidential candidate, anything is possible. We do know that President Trump does not like Manning and even called her an “ungrateful traitor” during the 2016 campaign.
Others have praised her as a hero.
Manning felony does not stop her from running for office
While having a felony record, that does not bar her from running for office. The Constitution only requires a senator be at least 30 years old, been a citizen of the United States for nine years and be a resident of the state from which the person is seeking office.