Chelsea Manning comes up massively short in bid for Senate seat

Matt Saintsing
June 29, 2018 - 11:44 am

Screen Grab of Campaign Website

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In a move that will surprise approximately zero people, transgender activist and disgraced Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning lost her bid for a U.S. Senate seat in Maryland in a landslide primary defeat on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old former soldier made waves in January when she announced she would challenge the longstanding popular senator, Ben Cardin, in the state’s Democratic primary.

Manning earned 32,201 votes statewide, or 5.7 percent, while Cardin received more than 450,000 votes, and easily cruised to a huge victory with over 80 percent of the vote. Prince George’s County, which borders Washington, D.C., was her most successful district where she received just 6,453 votes, to Cardin’s 99,725.  

She failed to grasp voters in the deep-blue state, many of which have ties to Fort Meade, MD—where the headquarters of the National Security Agency (NSA) is located.

Her campaign was a longshot to begin with, but never got traction. In May, she tweeted “voting wont (sic) change anything,” and a few days later posted an image on twitter of someone, presumably Manning, standing on a ledge appearing to be moments away from jumping to her death, with the caption, “I’m sorry.”

Screen Grab

The post was quickly deleted, on May 29. Her official twitter account said Manning was safe “is recovering and in the company of friends. We thank everyone for their well-wishes and support.”

She has struggled with mental health over the years.

Manning, once known as Pvt. Bradley Manning, became famous when she was arrested in 2010 and convicted of espionage. She spent nearly seven years incarcerated and was released from a military prison in 2017 when President Barack Obama commuted her sentence.

She was originally sentenced to 35 years for leaking thousands of military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks in 2010.

Since her prison release, she has continued to make news. She received an invitation from Harvard University to be a visiting fellow, but the Ivy League college rescinded that offer after former acting CIA Director and former senior fellow Michael Morell decided to resign from the school over her invitation.

On Tuesday, she released a statement saying she “stepped back from campaigning to prioritize my own-well-being.”

“Over the past several months, it has become clear that my experiences have taken an enormous toll on my physical and emotional health,” said Manning.

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