The Democratic nominee for Kansas’ 3rd U.S. Congressional District Sharice Davids earned her undergraduate degree from UMKC.
One of incumbent Kevin Yoder’s toughest challengers yet, many recent polls show the district as a toss-up, and others have it leaning Democrat.
Davids has raised $2.7 million for her campaign, $1.6 million more than Yoder.
Recently, the National Republican Coordinated Campaign pulled $1 million worth of ad buy for the Kansas City media market.
“Kevin Yoder’s never lost a congressional race, but Kevin Yoder’s never faced a candidate like me,” Davids said.
Davids doesn’t look like your average candidate.
She is a Native-American woman, member of the LBTQIA+ community, raised by a single military mother and a mixed martial artist.
“I had to work really hard to go from Johnson County Community College to Cornell Law,” said Davids, who earned a business administration degree from UMKC along the way.
While at UMKC, Davids said the load of classes she took while working taught her about time management, which has been very useful to her.
Davids made the decision to attend UMKC due to the affordable cost of tuition at the time.
She said her favorite class at UMKC was about leadership, taught by Dorrane Hudson. Davids was a first-generation graduate until her mom earned a degree in history from UMKC last May.
Davids advice to college students: “Set your own definition of success. You get to decide what that success looks like and what it means to you. And take naps.”
The former White House fellow said she wants to give “people in our community the opportunity to succeed. That means having access to affordable, quality health care and good public schools.”
The unique candidate has garnered plenty of national attention. Davids “Fighting for Progress” video, which shows her in a gym practicing for a tough fight to get in Congress, currently has over 22,000 views.
A former MMA fighter, Davids’ interest in mixed martial arts comes from her love of Bruce Lee.
“Growing up, we didn’t have enough money for me to pursue [mixed martial arts], but as soon as I was working, I started studying capoeira,” she said. “Martial arts are all about discipline and mental strength—two things you can never have enough of.”
If Davids is elected, she will become the first Native American woman elected to Congress and the first LBGTQIA+ Congress member from Kansas.
Since her primary win, many Congressmen have stumped for Davids, including Ben Ray Lujan, James E. Clyburn, Steny Hoyer and Mark Takano, the first openly gay Congressmen of Asian descent.
Davids also received major endorsements from former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Davids stumped for Deb Halannd, a fellow Native American and the Democratic House nominee for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. Halannd has done the same for Davids.
“Traditionally, political leadership has looked a very certain way,” Davids said. “I hope my candidacy will be proof that everyone can be involved.”