Sharice Davids Could Be America's First Out Native American Rep.

Sharice Davids

In a crowded six-way Democratic primary race for Kansas's 3rd Congressional District, Sharice Davids broke down barriers as the nation's first gay, Native American congressional nominee, reports the Kansas City Star.

Come November, Davids, who is also a professional mixed martial arts fighter, will face off against Kevin Yoder in the general election. If she wins, she’ll make history yet again as Kansas’s first LGBTQ member of Congress and the first Native American woman to serve in Congress, according to a release from the LGBTQ Victory Fund. 

“Now, we turn to the general election and set our sights on defeating Kevin Yoder, an extremist who has tried time and time again to undermine health care access and give tax breaks for the largest corporations,” Davids said, following the win. “He is a pawn for Donald Trump and I will not allow him to continue to take us in the wrong direction while working families in our communities suffer.”

Davids, 38, has promised to fight for women, queer people, and the Native American community. She won the nomination at a crucial time in the state, when LGBTQ rights are being systematically eroded. Just this May, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer signed into law a bill that allows faith-based agencies to effectively deny LGBTQ people adoption rights. In 2015, then-Gov. Sam Brownback issued an executive order making it easier for religious-based groups to oppose marriage equality. 

Currently, Yoder is considered vulnerable in the 3rd Congressional District, where Hillary Clinton won the vote in the 2016 presidential election, according to the Star. 

Davids won the primary with 37 percent of the vote, while her closest competitor, Brent Welder, a progressive who ran on Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare For All” platform (for whom Sanders heavily campaigned), was her closest competitor with 34 percent of the vote. 

Victory Fund praised Davids’s win in a statement.

“This victory shows the fighting spirit Sharice brings to her campaign and the progressive issues she cares about – so Kevin Yoder should be worried,” said Mayor Annise Parker, President & CEO of LGBTQ Victory Fund. “While Sharice speaks about inclusion and representing all her constituents, Kevin is chumming it up with Mike Pence, embracing the divisive and unproductive agenda that dominates the White House and so much of Capitol Hill. 

“Sharice will break down barriers with a win in November and add a desperately needed perspective to the halls of Congress,” Parker continued. “She will become a historic first, but more importantly, she is determined to push forward positive solutions for Kansans and all Americans.”

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