Dover, Del. – Transgender activist Sarah McBride won a Democratic state Senate primary in Delaware on Tuesday and is poised to make history as the first transgender person elected to that state’s General Assembly in history and the first transgender state legislator in the United States.
McBride, who oversaw the White House during President Barack Obama’s administration, made history by becoming the first transgender person to speak at a major party conference at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. He later served as the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.
McBride defeated Joseph McColley on Tuesday to advance to the November general election. The Senate district in dispute stretches from northern Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border, and since 1976 has been to Democrat Harris McDowell. McDowell, who is retired and supporting McBride, is the longest-lived legislator in Delaware history.
Democrats outscored Republicans by more than 3-to-1, and McBride is a heavy favorite against Republican Steve Washington in November.
If elected, McBride would join a handful of other transgender legislators nationwide, but would be the first transgender state senator.
“I’m putting all my strength in this race,” McBride told the Associated Press in an interview before Tuesday’s primary. “My identity is a part of who I am, but it is just a part of it.”
“I will make laws based on my identity,” McBride said. “I will make laws based on my values and the needs of my constituents.”
McBride’s campaign has generated interest nationwide and also eclipses fundraising totals for candidates for statewide office in Delaware, more than $ 250,000 in donations.
McBride’s priorities include paid family and medical leave for all workers, reducing costs and increasing competition in the health care industry and strengthening public schools.
After serving as student body president at American University, McBride debuted in politics as a volunteer for Matt Dane during his successful 2004 campaign for attorney general. Both Dane and McBride’s father worked at the Willington law firm, known for its close ties to the Democratic Party establishment.
McBride later worked on the campaigns of former government chief Jack Marcel and late former state attorney general Beau Biden.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign, said, “Next year, as the first transgender state senator in our nation, Sarah will show that any child can achieve her dream, regardless of her gender identity or sexual orientation.”
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