Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators pledge action on Saudi journalist’s disappearance Bernie Sanders: US should pull out of war in Yemen if Saudis killed journalist Senators warn Trump that Saudi relationship is on the line MORE (R-Utah) faced off against his Democratic challenger, Misty Snow, in a debate Wednesday night. 


Snow made history as the first transgender nominee for a major party to run for a U.S. Senate seat. 

"Obviously the goal is not to be second place," Snow said during the debate, acknowledging her lag in the polls. 

A poll conducted last month gave Lee a 35-point lead over Snow, 57-22 percent. 

Snow, 31, has little political experience and works as a grocery store cashier. 

This is her first run for political office. 

"I am a working-class person who understands the needs of working-class people and their families," she said. 

"I understand what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. I understand what average people across the nation are going through on a day-to-day basis." 

Snow and Lee went back and forth about healthcare, student debt, immigration, the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, climate change, gun control and LGBT rights at the debate, hosted by Brigham Young University.

Lee at one point touted his First Amendment Defense Act bill, which would prevent the federal government from taking "discriminatory action," such as revoking tax-exempt status, against people or nonprofit groups that don't support in same-sex marriage.

"Regardless of what your beliefs about marriage are, or regardless of what your neighbor might believe about marriage, neither you nor your neighbor should ever be discriminated against," Lee said.

Show shot back: "The problem with that is it pretty much legalizes discrimination in the name of religion." 

"I would encourage religious institutions to treat all students equally, regardless of whether or not they are LGBT," she added later.