Delaware native & transgender activist announces bid for state senate

By Abby Osborne
Contributing Writer

Sarah McBride, a prominent transgender activist and Wilmington native, announced her bid July 9 for Senate District 01, covering areas such as Claymont, Bellefonte, and parts of Wilmington. 

The Delaware native is vying for the senate seat of Harris McDowell, who announced his retirement at the end of the last legislative session after more than 40 years in government. If elected, she would be the first transgender state senator in the country.

Amid a leftward shift in Democratic politics nationally, McBride has kept her message general, banking on her experience in both advocacy and government to pitch her candidacy. 

When talking to McBride on the phone, she emphasized her desire to make sure “working families will be protected and safe” and that “their government will have their back.”

In an announcement video posted on her Twitter page, she cited the need for “big ideas and the courage to act” to address the problems facing this district. She said that she has “spent my life fighting for people to have dignity, peace of mind, and a fair shot at staying afloat and getting ahead.” 

McBride is currently a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, where she’s been able “bring different parts of the community together to [bring about] change.” She wants to apply these lessons to the state legislature in order to “give back to this community that’s [done so much for] me.”

One of her biggest priorities, she says, it to “build a strong middle class,” which is something former Governor Jack Markell, who has worked with her and recently endorsed her, can attest to.

“I fully expect that she will be a strong advocate for a Delaware economy that grows — and will work to ensure that the bounties of that growth are shared more broadly,” Markell said.

McBride has expressed support for raising the minimum wage – a key issue going into the next legislative session — but she has yet to detail her position. 

“A livable wage isn’t just good for employees – it’s good for businesses too,” she said.

She added that she doesn’t believe a higher minimum wage hurts businesses or forces them to reduce their workforce, but that she will “certainly listen to my constituents” when it comes to this matter.

McBride recognizes she has “big shoes to fill” with McDowell’s retirement, but she maintains that she’s determined to make Delaware a place where families and businesses will want to come and settle in with

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