Former Democratic Senate candidate Misty K. Snow has announced her candidacy for Utah’s 2nd Congressional District against Republican incumbent Chris Stewart.
This will be Snow’s second campaign after running unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate last year against Republican incumbent Mike Lee.
Snow became the country’s first openly transgender woman to run for Senate. She also beat out a more moderate Democrat in the primary by aligning with more progressive issues.
Going into the 2018 midterms, when Republicans control all three branches of government, Snow believes incumbents like Rep. Stewart will be far more vulnerable.
“I think if he had someone who ran against him who had a good name ID, and was appealing to the actual Democratic base who could get voters out, he could potentially be defeated," she says. "Especially in a midterm election, especially when we have an unpopular Republican president.
She says the experience of running helped her find her footing as a candidate and made her more confident to try again. Snow captured just 27 percent of the vote to Lee’s 68 percent.
But Snow cites recent competitive special elections in traditional conservative strongholds across the country as proof that there's a political sea change afoot.
“Two nights ago in Kansas there was a very close election in a very conservative district — a district even more Republican than the district I’m planning on running in right?” she says. “We’re seeing similar things happening in Georgia, Montana, so those kinds of things are very real possibilities all over the country.”
Snow joins a host of other Democratic and progressive candidates throwing their name in the ring early, hoping to capitalize on a groundswell of liberal activism against the Trump administration.
This week, Salt Lake City resident Darlene McDonald, a newcomer to politics, announced her intention to challenge Republican Rep. Mia Love in Utah’s 4th Congressional District.
At least two Democratic candidates are also gunning for Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s seat in the heavily conservative 3rd District.
Utah Democrats will officially elect candidates during their convention next year.