Transgender activist Sarah McBride wins Delaware state Senate primary

Transgender activist Sarah McBride won the Democratic nomination for a Delaware state Senate seat Tuesday, putting her on track to be the nation’s highest-ranking openly transgender elected official.

McBride, who currently serves as a spokeswoman for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy organization, defeated Joseph McCole to win the nomination for the state Senate seat in the 1st District. She will be the heavy favorite to win the seat, which has been held by Democrat Harris McDowell since 1977 and is open this cycle.

The district covers parts of northern Delaware and includes portions of Wilmington.

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"This victory is not mine. It belongs to so many - our grassroots volunteers and donors, our cheerleaders and supporters. I am beyond proud. I am beyond grateful," McBride tweeted.

McBride, 30 has been involved in activism for much of her life and gained recognition as a chief advocate for Delaware’s landmark nondiscrimination legislation, which was signed into law in 2013, as well as for Medicaid expansion. 

McBride also published a book in 2018 titled “Tomorrow Will Be Different,” which delved into her activism and her relationship with her late husband, Andrew Cray, who died from cancer. 

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She was awarded the Order of the First State by former Gov. Jack Markell (D), making her one of the youngest people granted the state’s highest civilian honor.

"Sarah McBride is one of the most impressive people I have had the privilege to meet. From her brilliant policy expertise to her ability to inspire and empathize, Sarah is the epitome of what can make an elected official great. Tonight, she takes the first step on what I expect to be a storied career in the public realm," said HRC President Alphonso David.

"Sarah’s primary win shatters another lavender ceiling in our movement to build LGBTQ political power, and her victory will inspire more transgender people to run for elected office. At a time when the Trump administration, cynical politicians and too many state legislatures are attempting to use trans people as political weapons, Sarah’s win is a powerful reminder that voters are increasingly rejecting the politics of bigotry in favor of candidates who stand for equality," added Annise Parker, president of LGBTQ Victory Fund.