Transgender whistleblower Chelsea Manning is seeking to become a U.S. senator representing the state of Maryland, according to federal election filings.
She would run as a Democrat, challenging two-term Senator Ben Cardin in Maryland’s June primary. Manning would have to file with the state election board by February 27 to get her name on the ballot.
Cardin is the senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He was first elected to the Senate in 2006.
Cardin spokeswoman Sue Walitsky, without speaking about Manning directly, said Cardin “is looking forward to a vigorous debate of the issues and a robust conversation with Maryland voters.”
Manning, a former army intelligence analyst, originally known as Bradley Manning, is the U.S. soldier who released more than 700,000 secret military documents and battlefield videos to WikiLeaks. She said she released the information to raise public awareness about the impact of war on civilians. Prosecutors said Manning was a traitor who put the U.S. and its armed forces at risk.
In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for releasing the classified documents. U.S. President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency before leaving office last year.
After her conviction, Manning said she identified as a woman. During her imprisonment, she battled for and won the right to start hormone treatment.
U.S. President Donald Trump says Manning is a traitor.
Trump has attempted to bar transgender people from the military, but federal courts have ruled against that ban.