Sarah McBride, a Democratic state senator in Delaware, announced Monday that she is running for the state’s sole U.S. House seat, a bid that, if successful next year, would make her the first transgender person to serve in Congress.

McBride, 32, who is considered a rising star in Delaware politics, is seeking the seat being vacated by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), who announced last week that she is running to succeed the retiring Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.).

“My commitment is to the people in Delaware who aren’t seen, who don’t shout the loudest or fund political campaigns: parents busy raising their children, seniors worried about paying for prescription drugs, working people struggling to keep up,” McBride said in an announcement video. “Everyone deserves a member of Congress who sees them and respects them.”

The primary to replace Blunt Rochester in the heavily Democratic state is expected to draw other candidates. But if McBride is elected, it would be the latest in a series of firsts for her.

In 2012, she was the first openly transgender person to serve in the White House, as an intern in President Barack Obama’s administration. In 2016, she was the first transgender person to speak at the Democratic National Convention. And McBride became the first openly transgender state senator nationwide upon winning her Wilmington-based state Senate seat in 2020. She ran unopposed for reelection last year.

In her announcement video, McBride highlights her work in the state Senate on paid family and medical leave, an issue that she says motivated her to run for public office. Her work in the chamber has also included sponsorship of a constitutional amendment to add gender identity and sexual orientation to Delaware’s equal rights amendment.

McBride, a former national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group, also has ties to President Biden and his Delaware-based family.

Biden wrote the forward for a memoir on the pursuit of transgender equality that McBride wrote in 2018 titled “Tomorrow Will Be Different.” She also worked on the Delaware attorney general campaigns of Beau Biden, the president’s son who died in 2015.

McBride’s bid for Congress comes amid a rash of Republican-sponsored state laws targeting transgender people, including some that seek to ban gender-affirming care for youth, restrict participation in sports and restrict restroom use.

A report issued this month by the Human Rights Campaign found that more than 75 bills aimed at the LGBTQ community had been signed into law this year alone. For the first time in its history, the organization declared a “state of emergency” for the community.

During a news conference this month, Biden forcefully pushed back against the state laws curtailing rights of LGBTQ individuals, including transgender youth, saying the measures are being adopted by “prejudiced people” and pledging that his administration will stand up for those being targeted.

“It’s wrong that extreme officials are pushing hateful bills targeting transgender children, terrifying families and criminalizing doctors,” Biden said. “These are our kids. These are our neighbors.”

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