Trans activist Sarah McBride running for Delaware state senate

Prominent transgender advocate Sarah McBride, who is currently the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, has announced she’s running for office in Delaware.

The 29-year-old, who made history as the first trans person to speak at a major party convention when in 2016 she addressed the Democrat National Convention, would be the first trans person elected to a state senate if she wins.

McBride will run for Delaware’s 1st Senate District. Incumbent Democrat Harris McDowell announced on July 1 that he would retire in 2020.

In Tuesday’s (July 9) announcement, McBride said, “I’ve spent my life fighting for people to have dignity, peace of mind, and a fair shot at staying afloat and getting ahead.”

“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 neighbours need someone who will continue to fight for them,” she said, in a statement to NBC News.

McBride first came to national attention in 2012, when she came out as trans in her University newspaper the day after stepping down as American University’s student body president.

She was also the first openly transgender woman to work in the White House in any capacity, according to her campaign announcement, when she interned in the Obama White House while at college.

McBride told CNN that her campaign won’t be based on her trans identity, but will focus on expanding affordable healthcare and criminal justice reforms in Delaware.

“A lot of people know me because of my advocacy in the LGBTQ community, but I want to be clear that that has not been my most formative experience,” McBride said.

McBride, who cared for her late husband during his illness with cancer, said that this experience had shaped her drive to increase access to paid family compassionate leave.

“I don’t want anyone to go through that experience, but I also know that thousands of people are going through it every day,” McBride said.

So far, one other openly trans person has announced their 2020 bid for office. Bre Kidman, 31, is non-binary and running to represent Maine in the US Senate.