The former U.S. Army private who was convicted of leaking government secrets, sentenced to 35 years in a military prison and who then had that sentence commuted by then-President Barack Obama last year after seven years of incarceration is wading into the world of politics with a run for the U.S. Senate. Chelsea Manning, who was previously known as Bradley and convicted in 2013 of stealing hundreds of thousands of pages of top secret government documents and turning them over to WikiLeaks, also came out as transgender after the sentencing and adopted the name Chelsea.
As CNN points out, Manning is entering a crowded field for the Democratic nomination that already includes three other candidates who have filed to run. And she could find herself aiming to unseat the Democratic incumbent, 74-year-old Ben Cardin, who has yet to announce whether he plans to run for a another term, but has more than $2 million in his campaign war chest.
“We live in trying times — times of fear, of suppression, of hate,” Manning declares in her campaign launch video, showing viewers clips from the deadly clashes between white nationalists and protesters last summer in Charlottesville, Virginia. The imagery in the video then shifts to scenes from Capitol Hill and the Women’s March a year ago, before footage of President Donald Trump is shown meeting with Republican and Democratic members of Congress.
“We don’t need more or better leaders. We need someone willing to fight,” Manning adds. “We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support us. They won’t compromise.” Clips of Manning wearing all black and holding a red rose are shown to viewers as she concludes, “You’re damn right we got this.”
Manning is not the only former federal convict to recently announce a run for the U.S. Senate. Last week, the former sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County in Arizona, announced his plans to run for one of Arizona’s soon to be vacant seats. Arpaio, whose hardline and defiant tactics to stop undocumented immigrants made him a controversial figure and ultimately a felon, was pardoned last year by President Donald Trump.
Watch Manning’s full campaign video below.
Read the full story at CNN.