Democrat Candidate Now One Step Closer To Becoming First Openly Transgender Member of US House of Representatives

By: Alex Trent | Published: Jun 13, 2024

Sarah McBride, a Democrat state Senator from Delaware, is now one step closer to becoming the first openly transgender US House of Representatives member after her rival in the primary campaign dropped out on Wednesday.

Now, McBride is running as an unopposed Democrat in the primary, leaving the only obstacle to the feat being winning the general election come November.

Rival Departure

Democrat Eugene Young, a former director of the Delaware State Housing Authority, ended his candidacy for the seat on Wednesday. McBride was complimentary to Young upon his departure from the race, celebrating the contributions Young has brought to Delaware.

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A bridge over water seen in Delaware.

Source: Alex Korolkoff/Unsplash

“Over the last year, my respect for Eugene has only grown. He’s run a positive campaign focused on the most important issues facing Delawareans: affordable housing and health care, good-paying jobs, and livable communities where all our families and neighbors can thrive. I know the story of Eugene’s contributions to our state is only just beginning,” said McBride on X.

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Delaware Democrat Party Announcement

Following the news of Young’s departure, Delaware Democratic Party Chair Betsy Maron put out a statement announcing full support for McBride.

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A photo portrait of Sarah Mcbride.

Source: Sarah Mcbride/Wikimedia

“With [Young’s] announcement today, Delaware Democrats are proud to unite behind our candidate for Congress, Sarah McBride. Sarah has been a leader in the Delaware Democratic Party and a true change-maker as a state senator…This fall we get to elect some of Delaware’s finest leaders up and down the ticket,” Maron said.

Outpouring of Support

In the wake of the announcement for Democrats in Delaware to consolidate behind McBride, many offered their support, excited for the possibility of her congressional term.

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Sarah McBride speaks to supports on stage.

Source: @SarahEMcBride/X

“Do it Sarah! I’ve known Sarah McBride for two decades, spanning her transition. There’s really no one better suited to represent Delaware in Congress,” said X user Nancy Willing.

McBride’s Response

On X, McBride reposted the statement by Maron and affirmed her commitment to deliver on promises she made during her campaign.

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Sarah McBride poses for a photo at the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists Gala.

Source: @SarahEMcBride/X

“Delaware Democrats are united as we head toward the fall because we know how much is at stake. Working together, we will ensure that Delaware elects proven leaders up and down the ballot – because Delaware Democrats deliver,” McBride said on X.

Not McBride’s First Time

Mcbride was elected to Delware’s state senate in 2020, where she made US history as the first openly transgender state senator.

Sarah McBride smiles in state Senate Chambers.

Source: @SarahEMcBride/X

If elected as a representative to the federal government in November, it would be the second time she has achieved such a first status in her political career.

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Award Winner

McBride has previously served as a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign and has been an advocate and worker for LGBTQ rights and protecting youth from child abuse.

Former Delaware Governor Jack Markell speaks at a table.

Source: Public Domain/Wikimedia

Her efforts were rewarded by former Delaware Governor Jack Markell when she became one of the youngest Delaware residents to be granted the Order of the First State. This award is Delaware’s highest civilian honor. 

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Announcing Her Run

Last June, Sarah McBride announced she would be running for Congress in an X post that contained an ad criticizing prominent right-wing politicians like Marjorie Taylor Green, Ron DeSantis, and Lauren Bohebert.

Sarah McBride speaks to an audience in 2017.

Source: Public Domain/wikimedia

“I’m excited to share that I’m running for Congress!” McBride wrote. “In Delaware, we’ve proven that small states can do BIG things. It’s time to do it again.”

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Political Credentials

In her announcement, McBride described the credentials she accomplished in the state Senate that she felt would make her a good pick for Democrat voters.

Protesters hold a sign that says 'keep abortion legal.'

Source: Gayatri Malhotra/Unsplash

“In the Delaware State Senate, I’ve Passed paid family leave, Protected workers, Defended reproductive rights, Championed gun safety. Our small state is getting big things done, but ultimately, we need Congress to step up, too,” wrote McBride.

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Calling Out Far Right

When she announced her campaign, McBride made a plea to voters that her identity as a transgender person is needed to combat the pressure on the LGBTQ community from the “far right.”

A person holding both hands together. Each hand has one of the letters for LGBTQIA+ on.

Alexander Grey/Unsplash

“In 2020, I became the first openly trans person elected to serve as a State Senator anywhere in the country. It really felt like America was blazing a path to the future. But since then, the far-right has tried to use the LGBTQ community as a scapegoat for their policy failures. As they’ve increased their attacks on families and kids, it has become even clearer: for our democracy to work, it needs to include all of us.  If elected, I’ll be the first openly trans member in Congress,” said McBride.

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Trans Rights

Annise Parker, head of the LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, emailed a statement to Reuters following the news of McBride’s sole primary status in which she threw support behind the candidate for a focus on solving issues.

A slice of rainbow cake on a wooden table.

Alexander Grey/Unsplash

“With trans rights under assault in states across the country, Sarah McBride’s ability to clear the primary field to represent Delaware in Congress proves that voters want their leaders focused on solving the issues that matter to their daily lives – not singling out their trans neighbors,” said Parker.

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Not There Yet

Although McBride now enjoys an open primary field ahead of the November election, there is still time for other candidates to enter the race. Democrats can still enter the primary ahead of a July 8 deadline, though there has been no public announcement of anyone wanting to enter in the wake of Young’s dropout.

Joe Biden's official presidential portrait with the US flag behind him.

The White House/Wikimedia Commons

However, if McBride can make it to the general election, she is likely to win the seat. Delaware is Joe Biden’s home state, and he won it handily in 2020 over Donald Trump in the presidential election.

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