DOVER, Del. – Transgender activist Sarah McBride won a Democratic primary in the Delaware State Senate on Tuesday and is set to make history as the first transgender person elected to the state’s General Assembly.
McBride, who interned at the White House during President Barack Obama’s administration, made history at the 2016 Democratic National Convention by becoming the first transgender person to speak at a major convention party. She was then national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.
McBride defeated Joseph McCole on Tuesday to qualify for the November general election. The contending Senate district stretches from north Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border and has been owned by Democrat Harris McDowell since 1976. McDowell, who retired and supported McBride, is the longest-serving lawmaker in history of Delaware.
Democrats are more 3-to-1 than Republicans in the district, and McBride is the big favorite against Republican Steve Washington in November.
If elected, McBride would join a handful of other transgender lawmakers across the country, but would be the first transgender state senator.
“I’m fully involved in this race,” McBride told The Associated Press in an interview ahead of Tuesday’s primary. “My identity is a part of who I am, but it’s only a part.”
“I wouldn’t legislate based on my identity,” McBride added. “I would legislate according to my values and the needs of my constituents. “
McBride’s campaign garnered nationwide interest and over $ 250,000 in donations, eclipsing fundraising totals even for candidates for office across the state of Delaware.
McBride’s priorities include paid family and medical leave for all workers, reducing costs and increasing competition in the healthcare industry, and strengthening public schools.
After serving as student body president at American University, McBride began in politics as a volunteer for Matt Denn during his successful 2004 campaign for attorney general. Denn and McBride’s father both worked at a Wilmington law firm known for its close ties to the Democratic Party establishment.
McBride then worked on the campaigns of former Governor Jack Markell and former State Attorney General Beau Biden.
“Next year, as our country’s first transgender senator, Sarah will show that any child can achieve their dream, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation,” said Human Rights Campaign chair Alphonso David.
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