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Sarah McBride becomes nation's first openly transgender state senator

Top issues for 2020 voters
Top issues for 2020 voters 03:40

Sarah McBride has declared victory in a Delaware state senate race, making history as the nation's first transgender state senator. The Democratic candidate defeated Republican Steve Washington. 

"We did it. We won the general election. Thank you, thank you, thank you," McBride tweeted on Tuesday night. 

McBride launched her campaign for state senate in Delaware last year, after becoming the first openly transgender person to address a major party convention in U.S. history at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

The 28-year-old is a transgender activist who served as the national press secretary of the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest LGBTQ advocacy group and political lobbying organization. 

Her campaign gained the support several high-profile figures in Delaware, including Joe Biden's family, Senator Chris Coons and Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester, who called McBride a "tireless advocate and trailblazer" well-known throughout the state. 

After winning her primary race in September, McBride said she was "energized" and "excited" for the general election campaign: "I'm ready to work my heart out through Nov. 3 to make sure that we win and that we elect Democrats up and down the ballot and send a strong message that this district supports Joe Biden." 

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Sarah McBride speaks onstage at The Human Rights Campaign Los Angeles Gala Dinner on March 10, 2018. Rich Fury/Getty Images for Human Rights Campaign

McBride's platform consists of issues close to her heart, CBS Philly reports. "Affordable health care for every Delawarean. Good paying jobs with real benefits like paid family and medical leave, strengthening our public schools and reforming our criminal justice system," she said. 

"Those are issues that are personal to me in my own life, they're personal to me because they're the issues that I'm hearing about from my neighbors," she continued. 

Of the LGBTQ elected officials in the U.S., a handful are transgender, but McBride will be the first transgender state senator.

Following her victory on Tuesday, CBS Philly reports McBride released the following statement: "I'm so thankful to the hundreds of volunteers who made calls, sent texts, and talked to voters to bring our neighbors together. I'm humbled by the support of neighbors and ready to work every day to make a difference in the lives of all the residents of the First Senate District."

"I hope tonight shows an LGBTQ kid that our democracy is big enough for them, too," McBride's statement continued. "As Delaware continues to face the COVID crisis, it's time to get to work to invest in the policies that will make a difference for working families."

McBride interned at the White House during President Barack Obama's administration and later worked on the campaigns of former Governor Jack Markell and the late former state Attorney General Beau Biden — the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. She also served as student body president at American University.

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