Chelsea Manning Files Paperwork to Challenge Cardin for Senate

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning, the transgender former Army private convicted of disclosing classified information by turning over sensitive government files to WikiLeaks, has filed to run for U.S. Senate against Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin, federal election records show.

Manning, 30, who now resides in Bethesda, filed the paperwork with the Federal Election Commission Jan. 11, online records show. She is the fourth candidate – and third Democrat – to file as a challenger to Cardin, the Democratic senior senator from Maryland, who is expected to run for a third term this year.

Chelsea Manning

Manning apparently has yet to file with the Maryland Board of Elections. She has until Feb. 27 to do so.

Formerly known as Bradley Manning, she was court-marshalled and convicted in 2013 of charges related to disclosing more than 700,000 classified and other government documents to WikiLeaks, which then published the material.

Ultimately Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, during which time she attempted suicide before the Army approved her for gender reassignment surgery.

Just before leaving office last January, President Obama commuted her sentence to time served, and she was released from the maximum-security prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Cardin, 74, of Baltimore, was first elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1966 and later served as House speaker from 1979-1987, before running for Congress. He represented the 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987-2007, when he first entered the Senate, replacing Paul S. Sarbanes, who retired. Cardin won reelection in 2012 and is currently the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Through Sept. 30, Cardin had just under $2 million in his campaign account. He must publicly disclose his fourth-quarter campaign finance activity by Jan. 31.

In addition to Manning, Cardin so far faces a Democratic primary challenge June 26 from political unknowns Richard “Rikki” Vaughn and Jerome Segal.

Thus far, Charles S. Faddis, a retired CIA officer, is the only Republican to file for the race. The general election is Nov. 6.

Manning’s candidacy was first reported Saturday morning by the conservative website Red Maryland.

William F. Zorzi
Bill Zorzi was a Baltimore Sun reporter and editor for nearly 20 years, focusing on government and politics. An Annapolis bureau veteran, he wrote a weekly column, “The Political Game” for the paper.Zorzi and another former Sun reporter, David Simon, are longtime collaborators on acclaimed television projects, including the HBO series, “The Wire,” and the HBO miniseries “Show Me a Hero,” which dealt with an explosive housing desegregation case in Yonkers, NY.


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