Trans woman Chelsea Manning announced her candidacy this January for the upcoming 2018 U.S. Democratic Nomination, legally doing so as a U.S. citizen of at least 30 years of age who has lived in the states for 9 years or longer, and as registered voter and resident of Maryland. Manning followed up her recent announcement to run for the Senate by sending out messages over tweeter asking for financial support for her campaign as well as including her first campaign video. Her initial statements, ” We live in trying times.. times of fear.. of suppression.. of hate.,” and “..we need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support us..” Grassroots voters across the country seem to be quickly jumping on board.
Manning, then Bradley Manning, was arrested by U.S. Army officials after leaking both classified and unclassified information to wikileaks who then later published the information over U.S. Media as the “Iraq War Logs” and the “Afghan War Diary”. Manning held the position of an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, which is how she was in the position to leak said information in the first place. She faced 22 charges and was held in Quantico Virginia at the Marine Corps Brig, in solitary confinement, for roughly a year before being sent to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. In February of 2013 she admitted to 10 of the charges, and by the end of her trial the same year she was charged with 21 out of 22 crimes and sentenced to 35 years in a Maximum-Security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks located at fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Manning is a convicted felon who was pardoned by President Obama during the last leg of his time in office.
Manning will be facing off with the current Maryland Senator in the 2018 race, Ben Cardin, whose political organization has millions of dollars backing it and deep connections within the U.S. Governmental system. The Cardin family has lived in Maryland for three generations, compared to Manning having only recently moved to the “free state,” after being released early from her 35 year sentence (she served 7 of those years). Cardin has been in the Senate for 12 years, before being elected into his current position he held a position with the House of Representatives since 1987, and for twenty years prior to that position he was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates. It is safe to say that Chelsea Manning and her supporters will have their work cut out for them to defeat the well established Senator.