Misty K. Snow decided to run for office based on frustration. The other Democratic candidate was a self-described conservative who openly spoke out against abortion. “There was a week to file and I thought I have to do it because no one else will.”
“I didn’t have any money, any staff, any volunteers but I just thought ‘it’s gonna work out.’” This was an opportunity to challenge the status quo and push for change. After Bernie Sanders’ win in Utah’s Democratic caucus, Misty saw a space for their campaign to work. They started speaking to counties and soon had a young college woman volunteer for the campaign. That one volunteer helped attract others to the cause and coached Snow through the state party’s convention – making sure they had the first speech in front of the women’s caucus and the first speech at the progressive caucus. Misty kept pushing their message as a pro-choice, progressive, working class LGBT woman, and it worked. “This volunteer got all these people, over 40 people, on stage with me. I thought it was going to be just me.” In the end, Misty won the endorsement of seven caucuses.
A candidate needs 60% of the delegate vote to secure the nomination at the convention. After two rounds of balloting, neither Snow nor David Swinton had secured the necessary votes so the two candidates went to the primaries. Despite being outspent by Swinton nearly 4 to 1, Snow took the nomination easily, securing 59.4% of the primary votes on June 28. With the victory, Misty K. Snow became the first transgender woman to secure a major party nomination for the U.S. Senate. They attribute it all to that one volunteer, “[She] believed in me. She made more of a difference than his (Swinton’s) money and volunteers combined.”
“Most people didn’t expect me to win. I’m just a Millennial kid and Utah has a long history of nominating moderate conservative Democrats.” But Snow’s passion is palpable, standing up for women, the working class, and the LGBT community. “Democrats have stopped turning out the vote; we’re losing seats. We’re forfeiting our voice. I want to be a candidate that Democrats want to vote for, and even if I don’t win they’re coming out to support fellow state legislators and Democrats.”
If elected, Snow, at 31, would be the first Millennial senator, currently a majorly underrepresented age group despite making up 40% of the voting population. They would be the first openly transgender senator, a true working class senator, and a woman senator; “(We’re) disproportionately represented by the 1%… We are a country of and by the people and we need a representative of the people.”
“If nothing else, I want to show that you can make a difference. It doesn’t matter what you look like, where you come from, who you are, you can run for office. Or you can be a staffer for a campaign you believe in. Without that one volunteer, I wouldn’t have made it this far.”
“We’ve seen it in Utah where a vote is decided by 47 or 53 votes, voting matters! Your vote matters.” Six counties in Utah have same day voter registration. Election day is November 8, 2016.
Misty Snow and incumbent Republican Mike Lee will face off at the Utah Senate Debate on October 12, at 6:00 pm MT.
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