According to a Federal Election Commission filing, Chelsea Elizabeth Manning filed her candidacy papers on Thursday.
The whistleblower and transgender activist was released from prison in May 2017 after serving seven years. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but her sentence was commuted by former President Barack Obama.
She came out as transgendered shortly after her sentencing, but the military denied her request for hormone therapy treatment while behind bars. "It is a remarkable gift to the world that Chelsea will be able to grow and fight alongside us for justice".
The seat Manning is vying for is now held by Democrat Ben Cardin, who has held it since 2007.
Manning has long maintained that she leaked the documents in order to spark public debate.
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Mr Helmer denied any wrongdoing but gave no explanation as to why he was stepping down. He fumed: "This allegation is all part of their politically motivated assault".
Manning has been active in advocating for LGBT and other causes since being released earlier this year.
Manning could not immediately be reached for comment. While people took time to recognize the achievements of law enforcement this past Tuesday, Manning took to Twitter to slam law enforcement.
Since leaving prison, Manning has become known for controversial tweets, often accompanied with a series of emojis and the hashtag #WeGotThis.
"Police and prosecutors steal more through "civil asset forfeiture" than all "property crime" combined", Manning wrote.
Manning also tweeted: "The worst armed criminals wear uniforms and carry shiny pieces of metal".