In Brief

Chelsea Manning to run for US Senate

Former army intelligence analyst once imprisoned for leaking intelligence will run for office

Chelsea Manning, the former army intelligence officer imprisoned for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks, is to run for the US Senate in this year’s mid-term elections.

 According to records from the Federal Election Commission seen by CNN, Manning has filed to run as a Democratic candidate for the Senate in Maryland.

She is one of four candidates currently registered to contest the Democratic primaries. Seventy-four-year-old incumbent Ben Cardin is yet to say whether he will seek a third term, or leave the door open for a outside challenger.

Manning, now 30, was convicted in 2013 of stealing 750,000 pages of sensitive government documents and passing them to WikiLeaks, one of the largest acts of whistleblowing in US history. As Bradley Manning, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison on 20 counts, including violating the Espionage Act. It was during this time that Manning identified as transgender and changed her name.

Having served six years of a 35-year term, Manning had her sentence commuted by outgoing US President Barack Obama in January 2017.

Since being released from prison in May last year, Manning has remained active on social media, and has continued to discuss issues such as government transparency, free speech and transgender rights.

In an interview with Vogue in August, she refused to rule out running for political office in the future. However, her decision to release classified documents, which sparked a debate about US foreign policy and some claim put US lives at risk, “continues to be politically divisive in the United States”, says the BBC.

Maryland’s primary election will be held on 26 June, and mid-term general elections are scheduled for 6 November across the US. 

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