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Sarah McBride nearly assured of Congress win after primary opponent drops out

Sarah McBride nearly assured Congress win after primary opponent drops out
Kent Nishimura/Getty Images

McBride, currently a Delaware state senator, is poised to be the first out transgender member of Congress.

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Sarah McBride is now nearly assured of being the first transgender person in Congress, as her only opponent in Delaware’s Democratic primary has dropped out.

McBride, currently a state senator, is running for Delaware’s sole seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Eugene Young, who was also seeking the Democratic nomination for seat, announced Wednesday that he is suspending his campaign, Delaware public ratio station WHYY reports. Young, a former director of Delaware’s Housing Authority, did not give a reason.

Delaware is heavily Democratic, and the one Republican who’s expressed interest in the post, Donyale Hall, has not filed paperwork with the state. It’s possible that another candidate could file for the September 10 primary; the deadline is July 9.

McBride announced her candidacy a year ago this month. A former Human Rights Campaign national press secretary, she was the first out transgender person to address a major party’s national convention (the Democratic convention in 2016), the first one to be a state senator (in 2020), and the first one reelected as a state senator (in 2022). She interned at the White House when Barack Obama was president, and she was a staffer for former Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and the late state Attorney General Beau Biden, son of President Joe Biden. She worked for the Center for American Progress before joining HRC.

She turns 34 in August, and if she is elected to Congress, she will be the youngest person to represent Delaware in the body since Joe Biden, WHYY notes. Biden was 30 when he began his tenure as a U.S. senator in 1973.

The Delaware U.S. House seat is being vacated by Lisa Blunt Rochester, who’s running for Senate to succeed Tom Carper, who is retiring. Both are Democrats.

When Young announced the end of his campaign, Blunt Rochester immediately endorsed McBride. “Sarah led the effort to pass paid family and medical leave, helped raise the minimum wage, and passed common sense gun safety laws,” she said in a statement, according to WHYY. “As Delaware’s congresswoman, I know what it takes to deliver for our state and that Sarah will hit the ground running as our state’s lone member of the U.S. House.”

On X, formerly Twitter, McBride posted statements of gratitude to Blunt Rochester and another high-profile endorser, Nancy Pelosi, former speaker of the U.S. House. She also posted praise for Young, calling him “committed and compassionate.”

Annise Parker, president and CEO of LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, which had already endorsed McBride, issued this statement regarding the news: “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. Our democracy works best when we all have a seat at the table, and our community is overjoyed today at the news that — for the first time in the 246 years since our Congress was created — the trans community is poised to have a voice in our national legislature. Hundreds of thousands of Delawareans will vote for Sarah in September and November, not because she’s trans, but because she’s been an effective, well-respected leader in the state for years. The LGBTQ+ community, and America, are fortunate to have an incredible trans leader like Sarah advocating for all of us in Washington.”

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.