Transgender Democrat undaunted by GOP dominance in challenging Lamborn
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Misty Plowright.

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Two Democrats landed on the ticket Friday night to run for the congressional seat held by Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, the incumbent who is himself in a surprising primary.

A Democrat has never held the 5th Congressional District seat, but the candidates nominated Friday night seemed undaunted by those odds.

And perhaps bolstered by the fact Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, is going to be the second name in his primary race because Calandra Vargas, 32, beat him at the Republican assembly last Friday in Colorado Springs.

"It's just proof that he needs to go," Donald E. Martinez said. "We need a young voice, a fresh voice, someone more in touch with the district."

Misty Plowright, 33, said she wasn't surprised that Lamborn is facing another primary.

"He's pretty much universally reviled," Plowright said.

Plowright and Martinez split the vote nearly in half. Because both got more than 30 percent of the vote, there will be a primary.

Martinez, 36, is a single dad raising two daughters, ages 7 and 9, in Colorado Springs.

He's a combat veteran from Iraq who said he decided to run when he had issues with the local VA hospital and called Lamborn's office.

"There are too many veterans in his district for him to help them all," Martinez said. "I was speechless and felt betrayed."

Plowright is a transgender woman who lives in Colorado Springs with her wife, Lisa. She said that while equality for all is important to her, her platform isn't based on a single issue.

"I'm the anti-politician," she said. "Look at how I'm dressed."

She wore one of her campaign T-shirts, a bright purple shirt with her name over a mountain range and "Let's Plowright into Congress" on the back.

"Until we get private money out of politics entirely, nothing is going to change."

She has worked for more than a decade in IT,and wants to increase access to high-speed broadband Internet throughout the U.S.

"I'm a nerd," she said.

The primaries will be in late June, and the winners will face each other in November.