Democratic primary voters in Colorado and Utah on Tuesday chose two transgender women as their nominees in House and Senate races -- making them the first transgender candidates for Congress on a major-party ticket.
In an unusual twist, both candidates go by the name “Misty." They now enter general election races in deeply conservative territory.
In Utah, grocery store cashier Misty Snow defeated marriage therapist Jonathan Swinton to become the Democratic nominee to face incumbent Republican Sen. Mike Lee in the fall.
In Colorado, Misty Plowright will challenge Rep. Doug Lamborn in Colorado for the state’s 5th congressional district after winning the Democratic nomination.
Plowright’s website describes the 33-year-old as “an Army veteran, a self-educated woman, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, and a passionate social democrat.” Plowright faces a steep climb, as the district is the most conservative in the state, according to Politico.
Snow also faces a tough first political campaign in a deeply conservative state. The 30-year-old won by 19 points after running to the left of Swinton, who presented himself as a centrist Democrat, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.
"We hoped more Democrats were really looking at the long game at this, trying to unseat Mike Lee," Swinton said. "The reality is I've done my absolute best and run an honorable campaign."
Snow, though, said: "This shows LGBT people that being LGBT is not a barrier to running for political office. You can be you, and people will respect you for that."
A poll conducted by the Tribune in June found that Lee holds a 51-37 percent lead over Snow.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.