Federal Election Commission documents dated Jan. 11 show that Chelsea Manning has filed paperwork to run as a Democrat for Maryland's U.S. Senate seat this year.
The race would pit her against two-term Sen. Ben Cardin in the June Democratic primary. Cardin is Maryland's senior U.S. senator, elected in 2006 and re-elected in 2012. He is the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Manning, a former United States Army intelligence analyst, was convicted by court-martial in 2013 of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents — including information about the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, State Department cables and information about prisoners in Guantanamo Bay — to WikiLeaks.
She was sentenced to 35 years in prison. While serving, she came out as transgender and ran a column in The Guardian. President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence last year, and she was released after serving seven years. Her lawyers at the American Civil Liberties Union said that Manning served more time behind bars than any other whistleblower in U.S. history and under difficult conditions. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called her release "outrageous."
Harvard's Kennedy School of public policy and administration granted a visiting fellowship to Chelsea Manning last year. After some high-profile government officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, refused to teach or lecture at the school in protest, her fellowship was rescinded.
Manning moved to Maryland after raising over $175,000 in support through crowdfunding and has been an active Twitter user and writer.