Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for #MajoritySavers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
Kansas Republicans have grotesquely gerrymandered this district in an attempt to win it back in 2022. However, this incumbent isn’t one to back down from a fight. In fact, this former MMA fighter has been knocking opponents out and beating expectations all of her life. I head to Kansas’ 3rd district to highlight Rep. Sharice Davids!
This fascinating woman has an amazing backstory, and it is a shame that I cannot share it all with you. Instead, I offer you a link to this page, where you can see all of the interesting things about her.
- Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk nation of Wisconsin, making her the only Native American woman currently serving in Congress. She was tied with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland for first Native American women ever elected to Congress (Haaland is Laguna Pueblo). To top it off, Davids is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community.
- Sharice was the first member of her family (but not the last!) to attend college and graduate. She started small and then eventually got a law degree from Cornell Law School. Some colleges she attended include Johnson County Community College, Haskell Indian Nations University, and University of Missouri-Kansas City.
- Davids is well trained in martial arts, to the point where she briefly made it to professional MMA circuit. You can still tell she trains privately when she can, judging by the title picture. She also worked on tribal reservations across the nation to promote community development.
- Finally, Davids was a White House Fellow in 2016-2017 during the transition between President Obama and TFG. This was when she became politically active and planned to run for Congress in 2018.
Davids has a DW Nominate score of -0.258, which indicates a moderate voting record in terms of the House of Representatives. This is to be expected and is in line with the New Democratic Coalition she is a part of. This district supports more moderate Democratic members of the caucus, and it doesn’t kowtow to economic liberals.
She is more liberal than 55% of the full House membership. She is more conservative than 86% of the Democratic caucus in the House. As I said, a moderate member of our coalition. Davids is an amazing contributor to our caucus, and is worth supporting. She votes with the Biden administration nearly 100% of the time! Let’s see what she emphasizes in her signature issues below.
Health Care: Davids does support a single payer system if it is feasible to do so. If that is not feasible, she accepts that incrementally expanding health care by allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and expanding both Medicare and Medicaid are the right thing to do. She is a staunch pro-choice advocate in Congress as well.
LBGTQ+ Rights: Being Native American and LGBTQ+, Davids champions enshrining the hard fought rights of the community into law and also for preserving and celebrating Pride Month. She was an attendee of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, and she often wins awards from LBGTQ+ advocacy groups.
Small Businesses: Davids sits on the Committee for Small Business, and helped shepherd through the America Competes Act of 2022. This act was meant to promote manufacturing and research in areas where China is leading right now. Davids personally added an amendment to allow small and medium sized businesses manufacture PPE for the pandemic.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 51.2%, TFG (R-inc) 46.7%
2020 House: Sharice Davids (D-inc) 53.6%, Amanda Adkins (R) 43.6%
2022 Race Rating: Tossup
2022 PVI: R+2
This district is the main setting for the classic political book What’s the Matter With Kansas?, which featured the stark divide between moderate and conservative Republicans found in this district in particular. For the longest time, the moderate Republicans were in charge here, and they elected socially liberal and economically conservative representatives.
This started to change in the 1990s, when an archconservative was nominated to this House seat. That incumbent only lasted two years, because the moderate faction revolted and put their weight behind a moderate Democratic candidate in Rep. Dennis Moore. Moore had quite a few tough races over the years, but he would always prevail in this district, even when presidentially it favored the GOP. Moore read the tea leaves in 2010 and called it quits then.
It took TFG to shake the last of the moderate Republicans from the party and into the willing arms of the Democratic Party in this district. Rep. Yoder, the conservative that replaced Moore, could not survive the suburban revolt against TFG and lost to now Rep. Sharice Davids during the 2018 blue wave election. In response, the GOP nuked her district and now she is in for the fight of her life to stay in Congress.
Political Tour of the District
The GOP maps were at first struck down by the lower courts, but the Kansas Supreme Court deemed them permissible. The GOP cynically took away the Democratic anchor of Kansas City, KS and plopped it into another district. They also added three ruby red rural counties in for good measure. Rep. Davids will have her work cut out for her in defending this ugly gerrymandered seat.
Here’s where this race will be won in the 3rd district.
- Overland Park: This huge suburb in the Kansas City metro area is now the largest source of votes in the district for Democratic candidates. There are plenty of former moderate Republicans found here, so it isn’t assured that these votes belong to Davids. She will have to work hard to convince these constituents to side with her again.
- Lenexa and Olathe: In the aforementioned book above, these exurbs were the home to the conservative GOP faction in Johnson County. 30 years later, these areas are now the pivot point of the entire district. Biden won these cities narrowly, and Davids must do the same to offset terrible portions of the district.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- Gardner, Spring Hill, and other Exurbs: These exurbs are now the home to the conservative faction in the district, and these areas of Johnson County are pretty conservative. Davids isn’t going to win these areas, but it is important to maintain the Biden margins in these cities because there isn’t much margin for error in this district.
- Miami, Franklin, and Anderson Counties: These counties are hopelessly and lopsidedly red, so Davids cannot waste time catering to them. There aren’t a lot of votes out in these areas, but in a razor tight race there could be enough of them to tip the scales against her.
Activism — Help How You Can!
Rep. Sharice Davids is one of our stronger fundraisers, as she raised a cool $776k in Quarter 1 of 2022. This is about double what her GQP opponent, Amanda Adkins, raised in the quarter. However, dark money is sure to make up the gap in fundraising between the two. It is hard to even the playing field when a billionaire can shake their couch cushions and outraise us in an instant.
Davids also has an excellent $2.85 MILLION cash on hand advantage after Quarter 1 of 2022. This again is more than double her likely GQP opponent, who has $1.28 MILLION in cash to spend. This race has the potential to become expensive and very nasty. That’s why I think throwing a couple bucks to Rep. Sharice Davids is warranted. She will need the cash to stay in office.
DONATE TO REP. SHARICE DAVIDS HERE
If you live in the Kansas City metro area, her campaign is definitely worth signing up to volunteer for. Her campaign website is https://shariceforcongress.com/, which is where you can register as a volunteer. Gov. Laura Kelly of Kansas would also really benefit from a strong showing by Davids, so volunteering for this campaign will help the governor as well!
Davids is fairly popular on Twitter, likely due to her MMA days. She has a robust 134k followers, which many of the Majority Savers struggle to reach 10k followers. Go ahead and follow her if you are a fan of hers like I am!
Other ways of following Davids include Facebook at shariceforcongress and Instagram at ShariceforCongress.
Thank you for taking the time to read about one badass member of Congress in Rep. Sharice Davids! Do know that the GQP will be targeting her as an LGBTQ+ woman of color, but she is one tough woman who can withstand the challenges. She is a very effective legislator to top it off!
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