McBride moved to Washington Territory in 1882 and taught school at Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island while he studied law. He married Alice Garrett on February 7, 1884. From 1887 to 1889 he was a practicing attorney in partnership with E. M. Carr and Harold Preston. He was prosecuting attorney for the counties of Whatcom, Skagit, and Snohomish from 1889 to 1891.
Appointed by GovernorElisha P. Ferry in 1891, and elected to a full four-year term in 1892, he served as Superior Court Judge for the Skagit and Island counties from 1891 to 1896.
Elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor of the state of Washington in 1900, he became Governor upon the death of Governor John Rankin Rogers on December 26, 1901 and served until 1905. After leaving office, he returned to his law practice, served as president of a savings and loan association, and worked in the lumber business.