Utah Democratic voters decided to make a statement by nominating the state’s first-ever transgender candidate from a major political party.
Misty Snow outran marriage counselor Jonathan Swinton 59-41% to capture the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Snow, a grocery store cashier, now moves on to face heavily favored incumbent Republican Mike Lee in November.
Snow only entered the race as a candidate in March of this year as part of a slate of progressive candidates inspired by the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders. Swinton, on the other hand, has been running for the Democratic nomination since last summer when he made his intentions known.
Swinton defeated Snow at the Democratic convention, but could not get the 60% needed to secure the nomination, setting up the Tuesday’s primary election.
Snow raised slightly more than $6,000 for her primary bid against Swinton, which included $1,200 from the candidate herself. She spent a little more than $4,200, leaving about $1,900 in the bank heading into the general election. Swinton outspent Snow by more than four times, dropping $26,000 for his primary race.
Snow will start at a severe financial disadvantage against Lee for the November matchup as the incumbent reports a little more than $1 million in his war chest, meaning he has more than 526 times as much campaign cash as Snow.
Snow has campaigned on raising the minimum wage to $15, legalizing marijuana and reducing the cost of a college education. She will be hard pressed to match Lee’s financial advantage and name recognition.
Lee had a 15-point lead over Snow in a May poll from the Salt Lake Tribune.
In the other Congressional primary, incumbent Rep. Jason Chaffetz cruised to victory over BYU professor Chia-Chi Teng 79-21%.
Chaffetz got enough of the delegate vote at the Republican convention to win the nomination, but Teng collected signatures to guarantee his place on the primary ballot.
Teng put up more than a half-million dollars of his own money to fund his primary bid against Chaffetz.
In a statement, Teng said he was disappointed by the results.
“I knew it was a long shot, but I wanted to fix the way Utah’s 3rd District is being represented. I knew that even if I didn’t win, I could achieve some degree of change just by bringing certain things to light.”
Chaffetz will face Democrat Steven Tryon in November. Tryon ran as an independent in the 3rd Congressional District in 2014 when he finished in 4th place, winning less than 2% of the vote.