The cool thing about being a trans person in this amazing moment in time is that if every day you wake up and simply do your best to be the best person you can be and live your life, you may find yourself making history as a result.
I’ve been asking in the wake of Geraldine Roman’s historic win in the Philippines as their first trans congress member when we were going to see it happen in the United States?
Well, the answer to my question is it may be as soon as November 8.
On that day, trans voters in Utah and neighboring Colorado will have candidates like us in Misty K. Snow and Misty Plowright on their ballots in this critical national election for the US House and the US Senate.
Last night in a historic upset, 30 year old Utah native Misty K. Snow made some trans political history by handily beating her heavily favored Democratic opponent Jonathan Swinton 59.5%-40.5%.
Snow jumped into the race just before the deadline, wishing to offer an alternative to the center-right leaning Swinton. At the Utah Democratic Convention Swinton had earned 55% of the delegates votes to Snow’s 45%, but she got enough support at the convention to force the runoff, then built on that by aggressively campaigning throughout the Beehive State by touting her working class background and being an unabashed progressive Democrat.
It wasn’t close. Snow garnered in unofficial returns 26,668 votes to just 18,182 for Swinton with all counties reporting..
“Today we have scored a major victory, We have shown that voters will turn out in numbers to support progressive candidates that take strong stands on issues,” said Snow in a press release.
“I want to thank all the wonderful people of Utah who supported me in the Democratic primary; without your support none of this would be possible,” she added..
The upset win made Snow the first ever out trans person to earn a major party nomination for the US Senate, and earned her a shot against her as she called him ‘loathsome’ incumbent Republican senator Mike Lee. Lee is one of the most conservative senators in the nation and was unopposed in the Utah Republican primary for his second six year term.
As of right now, she’s trailing 51%-37% to Lee, but she feels she’s in a great starting position seeing that most voters don’t know her yet and she has time to introduce herself to the Beehive State’s electorate. If Snow’s campaign catches fire, there’s the possibility that the DSCC will kick some funds to her if she gets within striking distance of knocking him off in a year in a presidential election year in which bright red leaning Utah might be in play.
Next door in Colorado, more trans political history was being made in another Democratic primary race, this time for a US House seat. In the 5th Congressional District Democratic primary, 33 year old Misty Plowright won her primary race to face off in the fall against Rep. Doug Lamborn (R), who is running for his sixth term in Congress.
Rep. Lamborn was forced into a runoff against Calandra Vargas, who beat him at the Republican assembly. Lamborn flipped the results to beat her 68.3%-31.7% in the primary.
Plowright’s primary race wasn’t close either. With one county (El Paso) still out according to the Colorado Secretary of State website, she was beating Donald Martinez by 16 points, 58%-42% in her historic primary win, Plowright garnered 13.373 votes to Martinez’s 9,639 and local media is calling the race for her.
Plowright also faces an uphill challenge because her central Colorado district south of Denver is considered one of the most conservative in the state. It encompasses the city of Colorado Springs and its suburbs, Cimarron Hills and Fort Carson. Since its creation in 1973, the district has never been represented by a Democrat, although El Paso County’s increasingly diversifying population gives Democrats hope they can change that dismal electoral history.
The city of Colorado Springs is the county seat of El Paso County and the home of the anti-TBLG organization Focus on the Family and hate pastor James Dobson. It would be oh so sweet if she upset Lamborn and give Dobson a coronary if she ended up representing the 5th Congressional District
We’ll see what happens in November. If the Mistys both shock the political world once again and make it to Washington DC to get inaugurated on January 3, 2017 for the start of the 115th US Congress, they will have earned those seats.
In the meantime, you may want to chip in some t-bills to help both Misty’s campaigns get to the House and Senate.
TransGriot Note. Plowright is not the first out trans person to get a major party nomination in a US House race. That distinction goes to the late Karen Kerin, who in 2000 ran and lost as a Republican in Vermont to Bernie Sanders.
Plowright still made history as the first in the Democratic Party, and the first in Colorado.