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Chelsea Manning files for U.S. Senate bid in Maryland

 / Updated  / Source: Associated Press

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NORTH BETHESDA, Md. — Chelsea Manning, the transgender former Army intelligence analyst who was convicted of leaking classified documents, will run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.

Manning, 30, filed her statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission on Thursday. She is running as a Democrat and will likely challenge two-term Senator Democrat Ben Cardin. He has served two terms and is an overwhelming favorite to win.

Manning listed a North Bethesda address in her FEC filing.

She released a campaign ad on Sunday that declared "We need someone willing to fight" and blasted longtime leaders in Washington D.C.

Known as Bradley Manning at the time of her 2010 arrest, Manning came out as transgender after being sentenced for leaking a trove of classified documents. She was released from a military prison in May after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence, which was commuted by President Barack Obama in his final days in office.

Obama said in January he felt justice had been served. Manning explained on ABC's "Good Morning America" in a recent interview that she was prompted to give the information to WikiLeaks because of the human toll of the "death, destruction and mayhem" she saw while serving in Iraq.

 Chelsea Manning talks with The New Yorker's Larissa MacFarquhar on Sept. 8, 2017, at the 2017 New Yorker Festival. Thos Robinson / Getty Images file

Last fall, Harvard University reversed its decision to name Manning a visiting fellow, with the dean of the university's John F. Kennedy School of Government saying it was a mistake, even though the title carries no special honor.

"We did not intend to honor her in any way or to endorse any of her words or deeds, as we do not honor or endorse any Fellow," said the dean, Douglas Elmendorf.

Related: Chelsea Manning says she's not a traitor, made 'ethical decision'

Manning still met off campus with several Harvard University student groups in September.

That same month, she told a crowd at a "creative thinkers" conference in Massachusetts that she's not an "American traitor" as her critics have claimed and she did what she thought was the right thing to do.

"I believe I did the best I could in my circumstances to make an ethical decision," she said.

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