DOVER, Del. (CBS/AP)– Transgender activist Sarah McBride has made history as the first transgender person to be elected as a state senator in the United States. McBride was elected to Delaware’s General Assembly after defeating Republican candidate Steve Washington.

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McBride released a statement Tuesday night following her victory.

“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.

“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, who interned at the White House during President Barack Obama’s administration, made history at the 2016 Democratic National Convention by becoming the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention.

She later served as national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.

She now is in charge of District 1, which stretches from northern Wilmington to the Pennsylvania border, and had been held by Democrat Harris McDowell since 1976. McDowell is the longest-serving legislator in Delaware history.

McBride joins a handful of other transgender legislators around the country but is the first transgender state senator.

McBride’s priorities include paid family and medical leave for all workers, reducing costs and increasing competition in the health care industry, and strengthening public schools.

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After serving as student body president at American University, McBride started in politics as a volunteer for Matt Denn during his successful 2004 campaign for attorney general. Denn and McBride’s father both worked at a Wilmington law firm known for its close ties to the Democratic Party establishment.

McBride later worked on the campaigns of former Gov. Jack Markell and the late former state Attorney General Beau Biden.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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