Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride mounts historic bid for Congress

Sarah McBride speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016.
Sarah McBride speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia , Thursday, July 28, 2016.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

Delaware State Senator Sarah McBride, already the first out trans state senator in the nation, is looking to make history all over again.

The 32-year-old state lawmaker on June 26 announced she is running for Congress, setting up a pivotal campaign for Capitol Hill that would make her the first out trans member of Congress if she emerges victorious next year. McBride is running for Delaware’s at-large congressional district, which opened up when Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester said she would run for US Senator Tom Carper’s seat. Carper is retiring after more than two decades in the upper chamber.

“Government should do more to make it easier for people to raise a family… My commitment is to the people in Delaware who aren’t seen, who don’t shout the loudest or fund political campaigns,” McBride said in a campaign video.

McBride has represented the first district in the State Senate since early 2021 and previously worked for former Governor Jack Markell, the late Attorney General Beau Biden, and as a White House intern in the Obama administration. Prior to getting elected, McBride served as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBTQ organization in the United States. 

Among her accomplishments in the statehouse, McBride championed the Healthy Delaware Families Act, which provides paid family and medical leave to workers across Delaware, and serves as the chair of the Health Committee, which has approved legislation bolstering home health services and mental healthcare, among other initiatives.

At the national level, McBride is vowing to expand access to healthcare and reduce costs, enact programs benefitting families and workers, legalize marijuana, end mass incarceration, invest in sustainable energy, advocate for stronger gun laws, and enshrine abortion rights into federal law, according to her campaign website.

“Our small state is getting big things done, but ultimately, we need Congress to step up, too,” McBride said on Twitter. “I have the experience and the determination to deliver bold change in Congress. When I ran for the State Senate with a plan to pass paid family and medical leave, political observers said it would take decades to get it done. We made it law in two years.”

She continued: “In 2020, I became the first openly trans person elected to serve as a State Senator anywhere in the country. It really felt like America was blazing a path to the future. But since then, the far-right has tried to use the LGBTQ community as a scapegoat for their policy failures. As they’ve increased their attacks on families and kids, it has become even clearer: for our democracy to work, it needs to include all of us.”