Sharice Davids wins Kansas seat as first openly lesbian and Native American candidate
Kansas candidate Sharice Davids won a congressional seat, becoming the first openly lesbian and Native American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.
The Democrat defeated incumbent Republican rival Kevin Yoder by a wide margin at the US midterm elections on Tuesday (November 6). With all precincts counted, Davids won 53.3 percent of the vote against Yoder’s 44.2 percent in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District.
Davids, who belongs to the Ho-Chunk Nation—a Native American tribe in Wisconsin—will become the first Native American woman to serve in Congress, an honour she will share with Deb Haaland, who was elected in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District on Tuesday.
“We have the opportunity to reset expectations about what people think when they think of Kansas,” Davids said during her victory speech, quoted in The Kansas City Star.
“We know there are so many of us who welcome everyone, who see everyone and who know that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed.”
Chad Griffin, president of LGBT+ rights group Human Rights Campaign, congratulated Davids on her historic victory in a tweet: “[A] huge and historic pro-equality victory! Congratulations to this trailblazer and new member of Congress, Sharice Davids!”
Davids’ victory silences those who smeared her during the campaign—such as local Republican precinct committeeman Michael Kalny, who branded Davids a “radical socialist kickboxing lesbian Indian” that would “be sent back packing to the reservation” in a Facebook message.
Another anonymous person wrote an intimidatory letter to a Kansas lesbian couple who supported Davids, describing the candidate as a “radically liberal nominee” due to her support of abortion rights.
Who is Sharice Davids?
The daughter of a single mother army veteran, Davids is an attorney who decided to run for Congress after she completed the White House fellowship program under the Obama administration and during the transition period.
She is a martial arts fighter who has competed professionally in mixed martial arts (MMA) and she is the first openly LGBT person to be elected from Kansas.
Davids and her brother launched the Starty Pants video podcast in October 2017, with the intention of spotlighting entrepreneurs in the Greater Kansas City area with a specific focus on women, people of colour and LGBT+ founders.
Ahead of winning the Democratic Party nomination in August, Davids wrote in an email to her supporters: “Representation matters. It’s time for people like me—like us—to have a seat at the table.”
MyPinkNews members are invited to comment on articles to discuss the content we publish, or debate issues more generally. Please familiarise yourself with our community guidelines to ensure that our community remains a safe and inclusive space for all.