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—Chelsea Manning, speaking with the Washington Post. Manning, a transgender activist and former soldier behind one of the largest leaks of classified military information in history, spent seven years in federal prison before having her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama.
Manning told the Post that she struggled to adjust to America with Trump as its leader and all of the violence, tensions and protests that has brought. “I need to figure out how we’re going to survive it,” Manning said.
Her solution has been to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, where she will challenge Democratic Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin.
“The establishment needs to be challenged, and it needs to be challenged in their footholds and in the places where they feel safe,” Manning said.
Echoing comments previously made by Virginia Del. Danica Roem, who made history as the first openly transgender person elected to statewide office, Manning said her gender identity would not play a major role in her bid for the nomination.
“I’m trans and I bring some experience to the table, but this isn’t about that,” she said.
Earlier this month, Manning released her first campaign ad, in which she stated that we’re living in “trying times. Times of fear, of suppression, of hate.”
“We don’t need more or better leaders,” she said in the video, amid footage of various congressional lawmakers and Donald Trump. “We need someone willing to fight. They won’t support us. They won’t compromise. We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves. We need to actually take the reins of power from them. We need to challenge this at every level. We need to fix this. We don’t need them anymore. We can do better.”
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