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Chelsea Manning, who gave military documents to WikiLeaks, files to run for Senate from Maryland

The Baltimore Sun — By Scott Dance The Baltimore Sun

Jan. 13-- Chelsea Manning, the transgender Maryland woman convicted of sharing thousands of military documents with WikiLeaks, has filed to run for Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin seat in this year's election.

Manning declared her intentions Jan. 5 with the Federal Election Commission, which posted the document on its website Thursday. She is running as a Democrat.

Manning, an Oklahoma native, had lived in Montgomery County, Md., before enlisting in the Army and eventually facing a court-martial for leaking classified and sensitive information. She moved back to Maryland last year after President Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence in the final days of his administration.

She is at least the fourth candidate lined up to unseat Cardin, according to state election records, but by far the most well known. Previously known as Bradley Manning, she has been held up as a heroic whistleblower by some and maligned as a traitor by others for revealing information about military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and about detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Cardin, who has represented Maryland in the Senate since 2007, is not considered particularly vulnerable to challenge. He had an approval rating of 50 percent as recently as October, according to Morning Consult. That was around the middle of the pack for all senators and 2 percentage points higher than Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat who won the race to replace former Sen. Barbara Mikulski in 2016.

Cardin's campaign had about $2 million on hand as of Sept. 30, according to federal campaign finance records.

Representatives for Cardin did not return calls for comment Saturday.

Conservative news outlet Red Maryland first reported Manning's candidacy.

Maryland's Democratic primary will be held June 26. The general election is Nov. 6.


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