Chelsea Manning has announced that she’s officially running for office The former U.S. Army private confirmed that she would be running for a U.S. Senate seat, representing the state of Maryland. The announcement was made on Manning’s Twitter account early Sunday morning, where she tweeted “Yep, we’re running for senate!”
Manning's official filing was received on January 11, though this marks the formal announcement of her campaign and is the first time that she has elaborated on her decision. Manning has filed to run as a Democratic party nominee in the primary against her opponent. In Sunday’s tweet, Manning included a campaign video that gave more insight into her decision to run.
The decision to run for Senate will place Manning in opposition to senior Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, who some consider a favorite to win a third term though he has yet to confirm if he will run again.
In a voiceover in the campaign video that was released, Manning said: “We need to stop expecting that our systems will fix themselves…we need to challenge them at every level. We need to fix this.” She advocates challenging the status quo at every level, including targeting the Democratic party leadership. The work that Manning has done could work to her advantage for some voters. And, as the Washington Post writes, being a candidate with "national name recognition” could help to push donors interested in “elevating a progressive agenda” into supporting her over Cardin. Fighting for freedom and equality have been part of Manning’s brand since she became a public figure.
Manning’s work in the spotlight has been rooted in politics and her work with social issues, so her decision to run for Senate is not a surprise. She was sentenced to 35 years in 2013 prison for passing information to WikiLeaks. Her sentence was cut short after seven years when it was commuted by President Obama shortly before the end of his final term. Manning now works as a writer and activist, working to highlight trans equality, among other social issues, as the Guardian reports.