This ex-MMA fighter could be in Congress

Attorney Sharice Davids is running for a House seat in Kansas and if she wins she would be the first lesbian Native American woman to serve in Congress.

Posted: Aug 14, 2018 10:06 PM
Updated: Aug 14, 2018 10:36 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.

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: 148387

Reported Deaths: 3769
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto9874101
Hinds9821198
Harrison6982110
Jackson6218119
Rankin5417102
Lee498495
Madison4711106
Forrest375086
Jones352488
Lauderdale3412145
Lafayette319749
Washington3153107
Lamar286349
Oktibbeha243562
Bolivar240884
Lowndes232864
Neshoba2189118
Panola218849
Marshall211950
Leflore203490
Pontotoc199128
Monroe196077
Sunflower191055
Lincoln187865
Warren174157
Tate166951
Union165325
Pike160958
Copiah160440
Yazoo152939
Scott151829
Itawamba151134
Coahoma149543
Pearl River149467
Alcorn148228
Simpson146353
Prentiss143730
Adams139250
Grenada138845
Leake133243
Holmes127861
Tippah123730
George123524
Covington120938
Winston120024
Hancock117639
Wayne116923
Marion114846
Attala111234
Tishomingo108742
Chickasaw106932
Newton104229
Tallahatchie96727
Clay89927
Clarke89153
Jasper81722
Walthall76028
Stone75214
Calhoun73713
Montgomery72825
Carroll71415
Lawrence70714
Yalobusha70527
Smith70316
Noxubee70017
Perry65826
Tunica60219
Greene59722
Claiborne57916
Jefferson Davis56017
Humphreys53119
Amite52714
Benton49017
Quitman4846
Webster42314
Kemper42118
Wilkinson38722
Jefferson34711
Franklin3345
Choctaw3157
Sharkey30817
Issaquena1144
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 241957

Reported Deaths: 3572
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson31809500
Mobile19651361
Madison12964148
Tuscaloosa12946154
Montgomery12263236
Shelby1016177
Baldwin857698
Lee771866
Morgan648050
Calhoun6215119
Etowah618266
Marshall618255
Houston522438
DeKalb480436
Cullman433442
Limestone418645
St. Clair413655
Elmore403764
Lauderdale396754
Walker3620111
Talladega347954
Jackson311723
Colbert306042
Blount287940
Autauga270442
Franklin250233
Coffee242015
Dale231754
Dallas225232
Russell22123
Chilton220638
Covington218034
Escambia197931
Chambers176450
Tallapoosa175491
Pike158114
Clarke157619
Marion137136
Winston131123
Lawrence126336
Pickens121618
Geneva12108
Marengo120224
Barbour117010
Bibb117017
Butler115341
Randolph101921
Cherokee101024
Hale96031
Clay91024
Washington90719
Fayette89316
Henry8526
Lowndes79429
Monroe78311
Cleburne76914
Macon73022
Crenshaw70930
Bullock69419
Conecuh68314
Perry6836
Lamar6678
Wilcox63118
Sumter57522
Greene42318
Choctaw42113
Coosa3414
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