Transgender activist wins Delaware state senate primary

Transgender activist Sarah McBride won a Democratic state Senate primary in Delaware on Tuesday and is poised to make history as the first transgender person elected to the state's General Assembly.

McBride, who interned at the White House during President Barack Obama’s administration, made history at the 2016 Democratic National Convention by becoming the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention. She later served as national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.

McBride defeated Joseph McCole on Tuesday to advance to the November general election. The Senate district in contention stretches from northern Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border, and has been held by Democrat Harris McDowell since 1976. McDowell, who is retiring and endorsed McBride, is the longest-serving legislator in Delaware history.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district by more than 3-to-1, and McBride is the heavy favorite against Republican Steve Washington in November.

If elected, McBride would join a handful of other transgender legislators around the country but would be the first transgender state senator.

"I’m certainly proud of who I am, but it is just part of who I am. I’m also someone who was born and raised in this community," McBride said. "It reinforced that this is a district that doesn’t judge candidates based on their identify, but judges based on ideas, experience and energy."

Sarah McBride, a transgender activist, is poised to make history as the first transgender person elected to Delaware's General Assembly after Senate primary win Tuesday.

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McBride’s campaign has generated interest from around the country and more than $250,000 in donations, eclipsing fundraising totals even for candidates for statewide office in Delaware.

McBride’s priorities include paid family and medical leave for all workers, reducing costs and increasing competition in the health care industry, and strengthening public schools.

After serving as student body president at American University, McBride started in politics as a volunteer for Matt Denn during his successful 2004 campaign for attorney general. Denn and McBride’s father both worked at a Wilmington law firm known for its close ties to the Democratic Party establishment.

McBride later worked on the campaigns of former governor Jack Markell and former state attorney general Beau Biden.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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