Snow becomes Utah’s first transgender nominee for Senate

In this June 2014 file photo, Misty K. Snow debates Jonathan Swinton at Tonaquint Intermediate School, St. George, Utah, June 14, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY – Democrat Misty K. Snow claimed victory in the primary election Tuesday night and stands as Utah’s first transgendered candidate for the U.S. Senate. It also makes her the first transgendered person in the country to be nominated for a congressional position by a major political party.

Misty K. Snow at Tonaquint Intermediate School debating against Jonathan Swinton. Both are seeking the Democratic nomination for senate on the June 28 primary election, St. George, Utah, June 14, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Misty K. Snow at Tonaquint Intermediate School debating against Jonathan Swinton, St. George, Utah, June 14, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Snow leads opponent Jonathan Swinton by nearly 19 percentage points in the unofficial primary vote totals. Statewide, she garnered 27,138 votes – 59.42 percent of the vote – to Swinton’s 18,530.

In Washington County, Snow led Swinton by 680 votes to 561, gaining 54.79 percent of the county vote. Vote tallies are subject to change within the coming days as mail-in ballots continue to pour in.

The primary between Snow and Swinton is the first Utah Democrats have held since 1992.

Swinton, a marriage and family therapist, was initially the only Democrat vying to unseat Republican Sen. Mike Lee. However, shortly before the candidate filing deadline, Snow appeared on the scene and eventually forced Swinton into a primary at the Democratic state convention in April.

Swinton, who has described himself as a conservative Democrat, said he would be a centrist and use his skills as a counselor to mediate while in congress and bring opposing sides together. However, his views on abortion have been picked at by Snow, who said during a debate in St. George that the Democratic Party didn’t want someone who was against abortion as their “standard bearer.”

Swinton officially conceded the race Wednesday morning and released the following statement:

I appreciate all those who came out in support of my campaign I thank my family, my campaign staff, and the generous donors who helped make this run possible. I am disappointed with the results, but congratulate Misty K. Snow on her victory.

I am pleased I could foster a discussion on the need to restore cooperation to the legislative process in Washington. We must address the dysfunctional approaches that have become the norm from our legislators. I hope that Ms. Snow and Mr. Lee will focus more on reaching common ground than on extreme ideology so we can represent Utahns better moving forward and restore productivity to the United States Senate.

Jonathan Swinton at Tonaquint Intermediate School debating against Misty K. Snow. Both are seeking the Democratic nomination for senate on the June 28 primary election, St. George, Utah, June 14, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Jonathan Swinton at Tonaquint Intermediate School debating against Misty K. Snow. Both are seeking the Democratic nomination for senate on the June 28 primary election, St. George, Utah, June 14, 2016 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The 30-year-old Snow, of Salt Lake City, has said she hopes to represent the working class in congress, adding that the body of federal lawmakers has become full of rich elitists. Snow herself works as a grocery store clerk.

Among the issues Snow’s campaign centered around are a $15 minimum wage, legalizing marijuana, criminal justice reform, tuition-free college, climate change, health care and LGBT equality.

Snow touts herself as a progressive in the same vein as Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, and seeks to tap the millennial vote.

“I speak to the issues they care about, such as affordable college or a living wage – that’s going to get them to the polls,” Snow said following a debate with Swinton in St. George earlier this month.

Following her apparent victory in the primary election, Snow released the following statement:

Today we have earned a major victory. We have shown that voters will turn out in numbers to support progressive candidates that take strong stands on issues. I want to thank all the wonderful people of Utah who supported me in the Democratic primary; without your support none of this would have been possible …

While I’m not running on the basis of being a trans woman, my experiences as a trans woman have given me the empathy to understand the struggles of groups that feel that the American Dream is out of reach. I’m running to give a voice to the voiceless.

Due to her being the first transgendered person to receive the nomination of a major party for congress, Snow is hoping that helps build name-recognition and aids in fundraising needed to help run a campaign against Lee in the general election.

Ed. Note: Updated to June 29, 2016, to include the statement from Jonathan Swinton.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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18 Comments

  • theone June 29, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I can’t wait to see the comments from the right…………

    • Henry June 29, 2016 at 12:17 pm

      “From the right”? Yeah, free college, nationalized health care, legalized marijuana, and more climate change laws are so “mainstream”.

    • mesaman June 29, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      Thank you, comrade.

  • SteveSGU June 29, 2016 at 11:01 am

    Fortunately, this person has no chance in the General Election. Swinton would have been a more reasonable candidate, but Utah Democrats are simply anti-Mormons, and the list of issues that Snow is using is just copied and pasted from Bernie Sanders. No original ideas and none that will be adopted by the good people of Utah.

  • Randy June 29, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Something is not right about this paragraph. should the first word be “Swinton”?

    Snow, who has described himself as a conservative Democrat, said he would be a centrist and use his skills as a counselor to mediate while in congress and bring opposing sides together. However, his views on abortion have been picked at by Snow, who said during a debate in St. George that the Democratic Party didn’t want someone who was against abortion as their “standard bearer.”

    • Mori Kessler Mori Kessler June 29, 2016 at 11:49 am

      Yes, “Swinton” is the name that should have been there originally. It has been corrected. Thank you for the heads up on this.

  • Henry June 29, 2016 at 11:34 am

    The state’s capital and largest city has a lesbian mayor, and now we have the first transgender U.S. Senate nominee. Now even more Californians will start moving here! LOL

    • theone June 29, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      It’s almost like Utah is becoming the leading progressive state.

    • .... June 30, 2016 at 12:57 am

      Well for someone as narrow minded as you it would seem that way

      • theone June 30, 2016 at 9:24 am

        Awe you must be nerves the left is moving in. Please carry on …. with your slow pace nonsense.

        • theone June 30, 2016 at 10:05 am

          (Nervous)

          • .... June 30, 2016 at 3:12 pm

            Awwww what’s the matter whiner problem with spelling doofus ? please carry on with your slow paced nonsense !

  • Bob June 29, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    probably no worse than another corrupt mor(m)on, like our dear governor

    • .... June 30, 2016 at 6:44 am

      you better get some rest. you must be exhausted after having a thought !

  • 42214 June 29, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    Misty is one handsome guy.

    • Henry June 30, 2016 at 10:17 am

      And lovely Misty has a deeper voice than either of us. 🙂

    • Ron June 30, 2016 at 10:56 am

      Yeah….he’s a bae.

  • .... June 30, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Pssssssst careful that’s dumbob’s new buddy !

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