House candidates in Kansas and New Mexico make history by becoming first Native American women elected to Congress

Wednesday, November 7, 2018
By Paul Martin

The two candidates, both Democrats, were protected to win on Tuesday
Sharice Davids, 38, will represent the 3rd district of Kansas near Kansas City
Deb Haaland, 57, will represent New Mexico’s 1st which includes Albuquerque

7 November 2018

Democrat candidates Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland broke new ground on Tuesday, becoming the first Native American women elected to Congress, according to projections after polls closed.

Davids, 38, of Kansas, is an attorney by training and a former mixed martial arts fighter. She is also openly lesbian and a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation. She defeated Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder.

Haaland, 57, of New Mexico, beat Janice Arnold-Jones, a Republican, and Lloyd Princeton, a Libertarian. She is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe.

The two women were among a record number of Native Americans who ran in the midterm elections for congressional seats, governor’s offices, state legislatures and other elected posts.

‘Strong, Resilient, Indigenous,’ reads the t-shirt worn by Davids in one of her campaign ads for election in the state’s 3rd congressional district, which includes Kansas City and its southern suburbs.

Haaland is a well-known community activist in her solidly Democratic district, working tirelessly to encourage Native Americans – who make up two percent of the U.S. population – to vote.

She cut her teeth working as a volunteer for John Kerry’s presidential campaign in 2004 – making endless cold calls to rally Native Americans to vote.

Since then, she has not stopped campaigning: she worked full-time as a volunteer for Barack Obama, and on dozens of local and state campaigns.

She ran for lieutenant governor and served one term as the state party chair.

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