A professional MMA fighter has stepped out of the ring to now take her first win in the political arena. On Tuesday, Sharice Davids won Kansas' Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District, and she could well be on her way to making history. Davids will face incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder in November's general elections, and should she win, she'll become one of the first Native American congresswomen in the nation's history.
"Native women are left out of the conversation," Sharice Davids, a 37-year-old Democrat, said to Bustle in an earlier interview. "And when you think about just size of a group, we make up a small portion of the population. That means that what ends up happening is there’s just nobody in the room who knows anything about Native issues."
Davids is an attorney and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a Native American tribe in Wisconsin, according to The Guardian. She's also one of four Native American women running for Congress this year. Davids is also openly gay, and it was her conviction that progress on gay rights and health care, among other issues, is crumbling under the Trump administration that pushed her to run, The New York Times reported.
Should she go on to win the election in November, Davids would become the first openly gay congressperson from Kansas and one of the first Native American women in Congress (Debra Haaland, another Native American candidate, is running in New Mexico). Davids would also, per EMILY's List, be the first Democratic woman to represent this district. Also if she wins, she would be flipping the seat from Republican to Democratic.
"I’m humbled to be your Democratic nominee in #KS03," Davids said in a tweet on Wednesday morning. "Thank you to my 5 fellow Dem candidates, who were each a part of energizing our district throughout the primary. I look forward to working w/ them & all of you to change the face of KS politics."
As Davids mentioned in her tweet, it was a crowded primary with a total of six candidates running for the Democratic nomination. Her main opponent was Brent Welder, an attorney who supports "Medicare for All" and who was supported by Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who went to Kansas to rally for him.
The final results came in on Wednesday morning due to a slow voting report from Johnson County. "Still awake, #KS03?! We’re at the #JoCo Elections Office monitoring the #vote count as it happens. Stay tuned..." Davids tweeted after midnight on Wednesday.
By 8 a.m. CT, the results were finally in. They showed that Davids had won the nomination with 37.3 percent of the vote, according to The New York Times. Welder, in turn, had received 33.9 percent of the vote. Ultimately, Davids garnered just over 2,000 more votes than Welder.
Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, which endorsed Davids in the campaign, said in a statement obtained by Bustle,
Sharice is a fighter through and through, and with her primary victory, she’s prepared to take on Congressman Kevin Yoder and show 3rd District voters that she’s the best choice to represent them in Congress. Unlike Yoder, Sharice will work to protect access to affordable health care and make decisions based on what’s best for people in the district — not as a pawn of Donald Trump.
Certainly, it's a noteworthy victory.