Ex-MMA fighter Sharice Davids could become the first lesbian Native American congresswoman

Sharice Davids, the attorney and former professional mixed martial arts fighter who won the Democratic nomin...

Posted: Aug 9, 2018 11:24 PM
Updated: Aug 9, 2018 11:24 PM

Sharice Davids, the attorney and former professional mixed martial arts fighter who won the Democratic nomination for a House seat in Kansas on Tuesday, is the latest potentially history-making candidate in 2018's midterm elections.

If she defeats Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in November, Davids would join New Mexico's Deb Haaland as part of a class that's expected to include the first Native American women ever elected to Congress.

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Davids would also become the second-ever openly lesbian member of Congress, after Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin. And she would be the first openly LGBT person to represent deep-red Kansas, where pro-gay rights activists have spent years fighting bills they see as discriminatory on issues like adoption and participation in college campus groups, at the state or federal level.

"What we see are Kansans getting tired of a lot of politics of division and bigotry," said Tom Witt, the executive director of the LGBT advocacy group Equality Kansas, which endorsed Davids. "The Democrats of northeast Kansas want to send a message that Kansans are not all what you think we are."

Davids won the Democratic nomination in Kansas' 3rd District by fending off five other candidates -- including progressive labor lawyer Brent Welder, who was backed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who recently ousted New York Rep. Joe Crowley in a primary.

She was backed by EMILY's List, which backs Democratic women for political office. The group pumped $400,000 into television ads in the district, which consists largely of the Kansas City suburbs.

In a statement congratulating Davids, EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock said she is "on track to make history as one of the first Native American women in Congress, the first openly gay member of the Kansas congressional delegation, and the first Democratic woman to represent this district."

Republicans, meanwhile, immediately sought to latch Davids to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California.

"In Congress, liberal Sharice Davids would support Nancy Pelosi and her extreme, out-of-touch agenda of higher taxes for hardworking Kansans. Sharice cannot be trusted in Congress," said Michael Byerly, a spokesman for the Congressional Leadership Fund, a super PAC that supports Republican House candidates.

Davids, a former Obama White House fellow, won with 37% of the vote -- continuing the strongest trend in Democratic politics this year of female candidates winning competitive primaries.

"I am honored and deeply motivated by the support I received from across this district," Davids said in a statement. "Thank you to my fellow Democrats in this race for their passion and for engaging in a spirited and important debate about the future of this district and this country. To my supporters: you knocked on doors, made phone calls, donated what you could, and got your friends, neighbors, and family members to the polls. I am eternally grateful for your confidence in me and will work to earn your trust day in and day out in Congress."

Yoder, meanwhile, won the GOP primary on Tuesday with 68% of the vote. The district went for Hillary Clinton narrowly by a single point in 2016 and is expected to be a major battleground in November's midterms.

In other potential firsts from Tuesday night, Rashida Tlaib will likely be the first Muslim woman elected to Congress after CNN has projected her to win the Democratic nomination in the overwhelmingly Democratic 13th District in Michigan.

This story has been updated with additional context about Davids throughout.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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