Sharice Davids: The newest member of Congress
Democrat Sharice Davids made history last Tuesday when she won the race for Kansas’ third congressional district against incumbent GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder.
Sharice, a former mixed martial arts fighter, is the first openly lesbian and Native American woman to be elected to the House of Representatives.
But who is Sharice Davids?
Sharice Davids: A true American
Born on 22 May 1980 in Oneida, wisconsin, Sharice is a member of the Ho-Chunk nation with her maternal grandfather, Frederick J. Davids, being born into the Stockbridge-Munsee Band of Mohicans.
Being in the military also ran in the family as Fredrick was a 30-year old Army veteran and his daughter, Crystal Herriage, served in the US Army for 20 years.
Crystal raised Sharice on her own as a single mother even as the former went on to work at the US Post Office after her service.
Sharice went on to attend Leavenworth High, and then Haskell Indian Nations University and University of Kansas.
Afterwards, she went to Johnson County Community College and University of Missouri – Kansas City, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2007.
She then earned her Juris Doctor from Cornell Law School in 2009 to become a lawyer.
Sharice Davids: Attorney and fighter
But before Sharice graduated from school, she started competed in mixed martial arts (MMA) competitions as an amateur in 2006, garnering a 5-1 win-loss record.
She went professional in 2013 and gained a 1–1 record. She tried out for the show The Ultimate Fighter but didn’t make it.
With her brother, she also launched the Starty Pants video podcast in 2017 to help entrepreneurs (specifically women, people of color and LGBT) in the Greater Kansas City area.
During the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration, she did a year as a White House Fellow.
She then went on to campaign and win the Democratic Party nomination in August, saying that, “It’s time for people like me– like us– to have a seat at the table.”
Sharice Davids: Winning the seat
Sharice defeated Yoder by winning 53.3 percent of the vote versus Yoder’s 44.2 percent in last Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Sharice’s triumph silenced Republicans who called her a “radical socialist kickboxing lesbian Indian” who would “be sent packing to the reservation.”
In her victory speech, she said: “We have the opportunity to reset expectations about what people think when they think of Kansas.”
“We know there are so many of us who welcome everyone, who see everyone and who know that everyone should have the opportunity to succeed,” she added.
Chad Griffin, president of the LGBTQ rights group Human Rights Campaign, said in a tweet that Sharice’s win was a “huge and historic pro-equality victory.”