Sharice Davids is the first openly gay congressperson from Kansas and the first Native American lesbian elected to the U.S. Congress. She is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin.
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Davids was raised by her single mother, Crystal Herriage, who served in the U.S. Army for two decades. The military relocated them several times before they landed in Kansas, where Davids attended Leavenworth High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Davids graduated from Cornell Law School in 2010 and was admitted to the Missouri Bar Association the same year. She went to work as an attorney for SNR Denton, one of the world’s largest multinational law firms. Thereafter, she spent three years working in community development for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
As a student, Davids took up mixed martial arts (MMA). She competed in the combat sport on and off as an amateur beginning in 2006 and became a professional fighter in 2013.
In 2016 Davids served as a White House Fellow, working under senior government officials in the Department of Transportation, during the turbulent transition between the Obama and Trump administrations.
In the congressional primary, Davids defeated five other candidates. Emily’s List, an organization whose mission is to elect Democratic women, endorsed Davids.
Her campaign focused on protecting and expanding core Democratic Party issues, such as health care access, gun safety and opposing the far-right policies of President Trump.
In November 2018, Davids won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives by defeating Representative Kevin Yoder, a multi-term Republican incumbent with a significant campaign finance advantage. In addition to representing Kansas’ 3rd District, she serves on the Small Business and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committees. She is the co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and the vice chair of the New Democrat Coalition, a congressional organization of capitalist pro-growth Democrats.
When she is not in Washington, Davids lives in Roeland Park, Kansas.
“Having LGBT people sitting in the room … as peers, will shift the conversation.”