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Kansas Elects First Queer Woman of Color to Serve in U.S. Congress

UPDATE (11/6/2018):

At least two more LGBTQ candidates were elected to office in Kansas on Tuesday. Susan Ruiz and Brandon Woodard will serve in the state’s House of Representatives.

ORIGINAL (11/6/2018):

Sharice Davids has done what once seemed unthinkable: She won election to the U.S. House in one of America’s most conservative states.

At the time of publication, polls project Davids will unseat incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder in the race for Kansas’ 3rd Congressional district. The 38-year-old boasts 52.8 percent of the vote, while Yoder claims just 44.8 percent. Seventy percent of precincts are reporting.

That’s roughly in line with polls conducted prior to the race. An Emerson College survey showed her winning by 12.

Should projections hold, Davids will be the first queer woman of color to serve in U.S. Congress. A member of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk Nation, she will also be one of the first Native Americans in the national legislature.

An attorney in Kansas City, her candidacy attracted national attention after a campaign video highlighted her background as an MMA fighter.

Davids could be joined in making history by Gina Ortiz Jones, a lesbian Latina and Iraq War veteran. She is currently locked in a tight race with incumbent Republican Will Hurd, leading 49.3 percent to 48.8 percent. Just 24 percent of precincts are reporting.

Should the Air Force vet win on Tuesday night, Ortiz Jones would be the second queer woman of color in the U.S. House of Representatives after Davids.

A New York Times/Siena poll, though, projected Hurd would win by 15 points.

Photo by Whitney Curtis/Getty Images


Nico Lang

Nico Lang is a staff writer for INTO, covering news, politics, and global LGBTQ issues.