Whistleblower Chelsea Manning, jailed for leaking classified information, is seeking election to the US Senate in the state of Maryland, a document seen on Saturday, January 13, says. Her candidacy would undoubtedly bring attention, both in Maryland and around the nation, to transgender rights and the rise of the security state.
Manning was convicted in 2013 for stealing sensitive government documents and videos, including information about the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, State Department cables, information about prisoners in Guantanamo Bay and leaking the information to WikiLeaks. She's been hailed as a traitor as well as a courageous hero. She was released in May 2017 after serving seven years, when President Obama granted her clemency.
Manning's felony convictions do not appear to bar her from running for Senate.
The primary will be held on June 26, 2018, ahead of the November 6 general election that Democrats are eying as a chance to retake Congress and restrain president Donald Trump. During his career in the senate, Cardin has frequently advocated restoring voting rights to felons.
He also tried to bar transgender personnel from the military but federal courts ruled against that ban.
Her appearance came just after Harvard University reversed its decision to name Ms Manning a visiting fellow.
Manning has not discussed her Senate campaign on Twitter, but has recently weighed in on political issues there.
Manning was arrested in 2010 after she gave Wikileaks nearly 75,000 documents related to the war efforts in the Middle East and information about Guantanamo Bay prisoners.
Reuters said Ms Manning did not immediately respond to requests for a comment. She said she might release a statement in the coming days. "And I realize now that that's OK".