Kansas picks Sharice Davids as its first gay and Native American nominee for Congress
Kansas has picked its first Native American and gay nominee for Congress after a close six-candidate Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Sharice Davids made history in the state after winning the congressional primary and the 38-year-old will now face Republican Representative Kevin Yoder.
If Davids prevails against Yoder she will become the first LGBT person to represent the state of Kansas, and the first Native American woman to serve in the US House.
“Representation matters. It’s time for people like me — like us — to have a seat at the table,” Davids said in an email to supporters on Election Day, reiterating her potential to make history.
The attorney and activist will now campaign to win in the mid-term elections against the Republican.
Democrats targeted the third district of Kansas as Hillary Clinton won the district in the 2016 presidential election.
Davids, formerly a mixed-martial arts fighter, was a White House fellow during Barack Obama’s presidency.
Raised by a single mother, the attorney worked hard to earn a law degree from Cornell University.
“In a lot of ways, my candidacy and my campaign is just another extension of the non-traditional path that I have in my life,” she said in an interview with AP before the primary.
“What people are seeing is that the traditional way that politics has been done is just not working for so many people.”
An avid supporter of abortion rights, Davids has also campaigned for treating gun violence as a public health crisis and endorses expanding Medicaid’s health coverage for more Americans.
According to AP her mother served more than 20 years in the Army before working for the U.S. Postal Service.
According to CNBC, there are currently only two LGBT+ women who are federal lawmakers. The first, Tammy Baldwin, was elected to the US House in 1998, becoming Wisconsin’s first female representative, and the nation’s first LGBT+ federal lawmaker.
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In 2012, Baldwin won a race for the US Senate, and the second LGBT+ woman Krysten Sinema was elected to represent Arizona’s 9th District in Congress.
Davids win comes as a record number of over 400 LGBT+ candidates are standing in elections for public office in the United states, according to the Victory Institute.
Amongst the candidates is a Democrat transgender woman, Alexandra Chandler, who is a former military intelligence officer running for Congress in Massachusetts.
The candidate wrote on Twitter that she not only hopes to become the only openly transgender Congressional nominee in 2018, but that she plans to make history for the trans community by being elected.