Transgender woman seeking political first -- in Utah

Misty Snow in April 2016


A transgender Utah woman making her first foray into politics will face off against incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee in November after winning the Democratic nomination.

Misty Snow would become the state's first openly transgender elected official if she wins the general election. She defeated marriage therapist Jonathan Swinton in Tuesday's primary.

Snow, a grocery store cashier, ran on a platform of raising the minimum wage and advocating for women's rights and the LGBT community. She also told voters Swinton's values were too conservative.

Lee ran unopposed in the Republican primary.

Snow was a relative unknown before losing to Swinton in the state's party convention in April, but the race went to the primary because Swinton didn't get 60 percent of the vote at the convention.

Swinton told voters his professional experience would help him solve problems and that he was the only candidate who could dethrone Lee in the general election.

Snow vowed Tuesday to make the race against Lee competitive.

"This shows LGBT people that being LGBT is not a barrier to running for political office," Snow said. "You can be you, and people will respect you for that."

Asked in April by CBS Salt Lake City affiliate KUTV why she's running against Lee, Snow responded, "Because he's one of the most loathsome people in the Senate, and he needs to be removed from office."