Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin took the Maryland primary this week with more than 80 percent of the party’s votes, winning in a landslide over challenger and convicted leaker Chelsea Manning.
The 30-year-old internationally known transgender former soldier announced her bid for the U.S. Senate back in January.
But her candidacy failed to resonate with many voters in a blue state that’s home to federal employees and defense contractors. Her platform included closing prisons, freeing inmates and eliminating national borders.
Manning’s most successful district was Prince George’s County, where she took 6,453 votes — to Cardin’s 99,725.
Ever the controversial figure, the person formerly known as Bradley Manning was arrested in 2010 and convicted of espionage, for which she spent more than six years behind bars before being granted clemency by former President Barack Obama.
Since her release from prison, Manning has continued making headlines for everything from unveiling her summertime swimsuit bod to receiving an invitation to be a visiting fellow at Harvard University.
Harvard rescinded that offer after senior fellow and former acting CIA Director Michael Morell announced his resignation from the school.
“Senior leaders in our military have stated publicly that the leaks by Ms. Manning put the lives of U.S. soldiers at risk,” Morell wrote last September. “I have an obligation to my conscience — and I believe to the country — to stand up against any efforts to justify leaks of sensitive national security information.”
Manning was also banned from entering Canada after the Canadian government recognized her as a traitor as she attempted to enter the country at the Vermont-Canada border.
“If committed in Canada this offense would equate to an indictable offense, namely Treason described under section 46(2)(B) of the Criminal Code of Canada,” the Canadian government wrote.
Neither incident helped Manning’s chances in the election.
Days after tweeting in May that the primaries were “rigged” and there was no point in voting, Manning made headlines after a photo on her Twitter account apparently showed her on an upper-story window ledge. Kelly Wright, a friend who also served as her campaign communications director, told the Associated Press at the time that Manning needed “space to heal” but would still run.
Manning also disclosed Tuesday that she had to step back from campaigning to prioritize her health.
“I found the space and the treatment I need to heal, with close friends by my side to provide love and support,” she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.