NORTH BETHESDA — Chelsea Manning on Sunday confirmed via Twitter that she is a candidate for U.S. Senate.
Three days after making her intention known to federal election officials, Manning tweeted “yup, we’re running for senate” with an attached campaign video indicating her intention to run in the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary. She sent a subsequent tweet seeking donations to her campaign.
The 71-second video weaves together images of white supremacists holding tiki torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as protesters clashing with police elsewhere.
“We live in trying times . times of fear . of suppression . of hate,” Manning said.
The montage shifts to the U.S. Capitol and President Donald Trump sitting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats.
“We don’t need more or better leaders,” Manning continued. “We need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support us. They won’t compromise.”
The video also shows Manning holding a rose and ends with her saying, “You’re damn right we got this.”
The 30-year-old Manning filed her statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday.
Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest, the former Army intelligence analyst was convicted of leaking classified documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
Manning came out as transgender after being sentenced to 35 years in prison. President Barack Obama granted Manning clemency before leaving office last year.
Manning is running as a Democrat and will likely challenge two-term Sen. Ben Cardin in the primary.
When Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, in May, she told the AP in an email that she was eager to define her future — but made no mention of politics.
The Oklahoma native had planned to move to Maryland, where she has an aunt. She has been registered to vote at the apartment in North Bethesda since mid-August, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections.
Her recent move would not affect a Senate bid. To run for that office, a person must be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen for nine years and an inhabitant of the state at election time, according to the Maryland State Board of Elections. A felony conviction does not appear to preclude a run.
Manning is yet to file for the primary with the state elections board, which she must do in person by Feb. 27, according to the board’s website.
Cardin is also yet to file. But campaign finance reports show that his organization had nearly $2 million cash on hand in late September.