Eugene Young drops out of Delaware’s U.S. House race, potentially paving the way for Sarah McBride to become the first trans member of Congress

State Sen. Sarah McBride would also be the youngest elected official from Delaware since President Joe Biden.

Sarah McBride speaking at a podium

Sarah McBride speaks during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Thursday, July 28, 2016. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

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Democratic state Sen. Sarah McBride racked up two notable endorsements Thursday in her campaign to represent Delaware in the U.S. House.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Delaware U.S. Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester issued statements of support a day after McBride’s only primary challenger bowed out of the race, clearing the field for McBride. She is vying to fill the seat Blunt Rochester is vacating to succeed retiring Sen. Tom Carper.

“As Delaware’s congresswoman, I know what it takes to deliver for our state and that Sarah will hit the ground running as our state’s lone member of the U.S. House,” Blunt Rochester’s statement read.

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The high-profile seals of approval come a day after McBride’s only primary challenger bowed out of the race, clearing the field for McBride.

If elected, McBride would make history as the first transgender person ever elected to federal office, shining a national spotlight on the Delaware lawmaker.

“In fighting for LGBTQ+ rights, Sarah’s unrelenting work ethic demonstrates that she is not only a strong voice for Delaware, but also a powerful force for progress in our country,” Pelosi said in a statement released by McBride’s campaign.

McBride appears to have locked up the primary nomination and currently lacks a Republican challenger in November’s general election. However, there is a chance another candidate could file to compete in the state’s Sept. 10 primary if they file by the July 9 deadline.

Eugene Young, the former State Housing Authority director,  suspended his campaign Wednesday after emailing his supporters Wednesday. He did not give a specific reason for the suspension.

Young was endorsed by Gov. John Carney in March, but had not officially filed his candidacy paperwork.

McBride posted a statement about Young’s departure from the race on social media, where she praised Young’s campaign as focusing on important issues facing Delawareans.

“Service is in Eugene’s heart and he continues to dedicate his life to empowering and uplifting others,” the statement read. “I know the story of Eugene’s contributions to our state is only just beginning.”

The LGBTQ+ Victory Fund, which has endorsed McBride’s run for the office, issued a statement highlighting McBride’s lone candidacy, noting it would be “the first time in the 246 years since our Congress was created – the trans community is poised to have a voice in our national legislature.”

“With trans rights under assault in states across the country, Sarah McBride’s ability to clear the primary field to represent Delaware in Congress proves that voters want their leaders focused on solving the issues that matter to their daily lives – not singling out their trans neighbors,” LGBTQ+ Victory Fund President Annise Parker said in a statement. “Our democracy works best when we all have a seat at the table.”

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McBride has raised over $1.86 million for her campaign, as of March 31. She garnered dozens of additional endorsements, including Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings and Treasurer Colleen Davis.

Republican Donyale Hall has expressed interest in mounting a campaign, but has not yet filed with the Department of Elections.

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