While that candidate may have lost, the attention has now turned to Sharice Davids, the openly gay former mixed martial arts fighter who won the primary and now has a shot at becoming the country’s first Native American woman in Congress.

Davids, a former fellow in the Obama White House, declared victory in the race on Wednesday morning, pulling in 37% of the vote. Her success continues a streak of female candidates winning during this election cycle.

Republicans should panic about the House, and other takeaways from Tuesday's elections

“I am honored and deeply motivated by the support I received from across this district,” Davids said in a statement claiming victory. “Thank you to my fellow Democrats in this race for their passion and for engaging in a spirited and important debate about the future of this district and this country. To my supporters: you knocked on doors, made phone calls, donated what you could, and got your friends, neighbors, and family members to the polls. I am eternally grateful for your confidence in me and will work to earn your trust day in and day out in Congress.”

Davids edged out a win over progressive candidate Brent Welder, whose profile was on the rise in recent days after Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and progressive Democratic candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Corttez of New York came to the district to campaign on his behalf. Welder ran to the left of Davids, promoting a platform calling for Medicare for all, debt-free college and a $15 minimum wage.
Candidates backed by Sanders and his allied group, Our Revolution, had an unsuccessful evening Tuesday. In the night’s marquee contest, progressive outsider Abdul El-Sayed fell well short in his bid to upset former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer in the Democratic Michigan gubernatorial primary, despite a recent visit from Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez.
Trump-backed candidates in Ohio and Kansas locked in tight races
In other potential firsts from Tuesday nights, Rashida Tlaib will likely be the first Muslim woman elected to Congress after CNN has projected her to win the Democratic nomination in Michigan’s 13th district.
In November, Davids will face off against incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder, who has held the seat since 2011. Yoder won the GOP primary on Tuesday night, coming away with 68% of the vote. The district, which is comprised of parts of Kansas City, went for Hillary Clinton narrowly by a single point in 2016.

Davids is now looking ahead to the general election and taking on Yoder. In a statement released by her campaign, Davids said she plans to outwork Yoder every day until November.

“I am humbled by the support and excited by the future ahead. Now let’s get to work,” she said.


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