Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Sarah McBride wins seat in Delaware


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She becomes the highest-ranking openly transgender elected official in America.


It’s official: Sarah McBride, national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, became the first openly transgender state senator in the nation.

McBride made history Tuesday night when she was elected to Delaware’s state senate in a race against Republican candidate Steve Washington. She will replace Sen. Harris McDowell, a Democrat who is retiring at the end of his term.

“We did it,” McBride wrote on Twitter Tuesday night, announcing victory and thanking her supporters. “I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too.”

As a state senator, she will also be the country’s highest-ranking openly transgender official — and first elected official in Delaware’s history.

“I don’t intend on serving as a transgender state senator,” McBride told Delaware’s News Journal, part of the USA TODAY Network, last year. “I intend on serving as a senator who happens to be transgender.”

McBride ran on a progressive platform. Her campaign called for affordable health care, improving school funding, universal pre-kindergarten and increasing the minimum wage. In recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency around those policy changes, she said.

McBride called the win an honor, and hopes to “meet this moment with meaningful results that make a real difference in the lives of Delawareans here in this district and around our state.” Despite the national attention her campaign has received, McBride said her priority is her neighbors she will now represent in the district.

“From the start, I knew I wanted to be the healthcare and paid leave candidate,” McBride told The News Journal. “Even before COVID, people were feeling that need. This has just reinforced and deepened that need. For Delawareans, for those in poverty, those struggling through the pandemic, the issues we’re talking about aren’t abstract.” 

Support for McBride has overflowed on social media. Celebrities and fellow politicians celebrate her win.

“Congrats to my friend @sarahemcbride and congrats to Delawareans for electing a great leader!!!!!” actress Amy Schumer, who has supported McBride’s campaign since she announced her run last year, wrote in an Instagram post.

United States Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Ohio) alsshared her excitement on Twitter.

“We are so very proud of you, Sarah,” she wrote. “You made history tonight. And the most exciting part is it’s only the beginning.”


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