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Misty K. Snow, the headline-grabbing Democrat who challenged Sen. Mike Lee last year, has announced her next campaign. She'll run in Utah's 2nd Congressional District for a seat now held by Republican Rep. Chris Stewart.
Snow, who became the first transgender person in the nation to claim a major party nomination for a Senate run, says she'll be more prepared for a 2018 contest.
"I learned a lot from the last race," she said Thursday. "I feel the need to run again. I have to do something."
Snow, who officially filed with the Federal Election Commission on April 2 to run, said she decided to challenge Stewart because she feels he holds a "lot of problematic policy stances," including backing the GOP effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and getting rid of Bears Ears National Monument.
His defense of President Donald Trump also grates on her.
"He calls Trump 'our Mussolini' but then stands behind him," she said, referring to a comment Stewart made last year during the Republican primaries.
Snow works as a cashier for a Harmons grocery store in Taylorsville, but lives in Salt Lake City, which is in the 2nd District.
She surprised the Democratic establishment by winning the Senate nomination in 2016 as an unabashed progressive in the mold of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Her campaign focused on economic issues and poverty, while she largely avoided talk of her gender identity, saying that was not the reason she ran for office.
Snow claimed just 27 percent of the vote in her loss to Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who received 68 percent of the vote.
She said that she will continue to campaign as a progressive, noting that she did as well in her race as other Democrats who have run more as conservatives.
"Really, I feel like I proved I can run on the issues that affect working class people," she said. "I don't think those are partisan issues."
Stewart's campaign declined to comment.
Some Democrats had urged Snow to lower her sights and run for a lower office next time if she wanted to succeed in politics. While the bid for a House seat is less ambitious than a Senate race, it's still a big lift.
"It's always an uphill battle for Democrats running for congressional office in Utah," state Democratic Party Chairman Peter Corroon said. He believes, though, Snow could win given the current tumultuous political climate. He especially appreciates the "missing voice" she brings to the table as a working-class person.
"I'm glad to see she was not deterred by her upsetting loss in the last race," he said, later adding: "Misty Snow ran a very credible race against Senator Lee, and we believe that she'll do the same in this race."
The 2nd District encompasses all of Salt Lake City, parts of Davis County and extends down the west side of the state all the way to St. George. Rather than the 1.5 million voters registered in the statewide Senate contest, there are approximately 380,000 voters in each of Utah's four congressional districts.
Reporter Courtney Tanner contributed to this report.