Two Transgender Women Make History As the First to Win Congressional Primaries
On Tuesday, two transgender women made U.S. history as the first to win congressional primaries. The two women, who coincidentally have the same first name and little political experience, are also both running in conservative-heavy areas.
In Utah, former grocery store clerk and 30-year-old Democrat Misty K. Snow will be running against current Senator Mike Lee for Senate. In Colorado's 5th congressional district, 33-year-old IT consultant and "anti-politician" Misty Plowright, who is also a Democrat, will run against Rep. Doug Lamborn.
"A lot of people have told me whether I win or lose, I'm already making a difference just by running," Snow said, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
Both women's platforms are notably progressive, and are similar to Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign. Snow's platform includes legalized marijuana, minimum wage being raised to $15 an hour, paid family leave and reduced college tuition. Plowright supports veteran aid, social security and a ban on fracking.
Their wins weren't close calls, either. Snow beat out self-declared conservative Democrat Jonathan Swinton for the nomination by almost 20%. Over in Colorado, Plowright won the primary over Donald Martinez by about 16%.
"This is even more breathtaking considering the political climate today, the uphill curve to educate people about who transgender people are," LGBT advocate Bob Witeck told the Washington Post.
Transgender candidates have had a few wins at the local and state levels over the past two decades. In 1991, Joanne Conte of Arvada, Colorado, served as the first out transgender city council member. However, she was outed without her consent in 1993, when investigators hired by her opponents made her transition public. Most other transgender politicians in her footsteps either hadn't come out before they were elected, or they were also forced out by others — until now.
If they win their elections, both women will take office in Congress this January.