Delaware state Sen. Sarah McBride announced Monday she’s running for the U.S. House of Representatives. Already the first openly transgender state senator elected in the country, she’d be the first transgender member of Congress if she wins in November.
In a video posted to social media, McBride, a Democrat, said people deserve a representative “who sees them and who respects them.” Her announcement also highlighted her support for paid family leave, which passed the state Senate last year.
“This law is a good start, but government should do more to make it easier for people to raise a family,” she said. “So I’m running for Congress.”
McBride was elected in 2020 in a heavily Democratic district stretching from northern Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border. There are several other transgender legislators around the country but she’s the first trans member of any state Senate.
McBride interned at the White House under former President Barack Obama and made history at the 2016 Democratic National Convention as the first openly trans person to speak at a major party convention.
McBride has long-standing ties to Delaware’s best-known political family. She worked on the late Beau Biden’s campaigns for state attorney general, and Beau’s father, President Joe Biden, wrote the foreword to her memoir. She also worked on the campaign of former Gov. Jack Markell.
She succeeded fellow Democrat Harris McDowell, who held the Senate seat since 1976 and endorsed McBride’s candidacy.
McBride’s campaign generated interest and money from around the country, bringing in more than $270,000 in donations as of early October 2020, eclipsing fundraising totals even for candidates for statewide office in Delaware.
A former student body president at American University, McBride started in politics as a volunteer for Matt Denn, former legal counsel to Delaware’s governor, during his successful 2004 campaign for insurance commissioner. Denn, who later served as lieutenant governor and attorney general, worked with McBride’s father at a Wilmington law firm known for its close ties to the Democratic Party establishment.