Rep. Sharice Davids Beats Back Challenge In Redrawn Kansas District

Davids beat former health care executive Amanda Adkins despite competing in a more Republican-leaning district in suburban Kansas City.
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U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) was projected to win her bid for reelection Tuesday, overcoming the challenge of a sharply redrawn congressional district aimed at making her suburban Kansas City seat lean more Republican.

Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) at a campaign rally Sunday in Shawnee on Nov. 6. Her congressional district was redrawn in May in an effort to turn it more red.
Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) at a campaign rally Sunday in Shawnee on Nov. 6. Her congressional district was redrawn in May in an effort to turn it more red.
Michael B. Thomas via Getty Images

Davids beat former health care executive Amanda Adkins in a rematch of her race in 2020.

Her campaign was seen as something of a bellwether for House Democrats, being fought in the kind of white-collar suburbs the party had done well in in 2018 and 2020 and needed to do well in again to have a chance of keeping House control.

But this year’s race was different, with wrangling over redistricting leaving the contours of her district just set in May. Once the dust settled, Davids had lost part of Democratic-heavy Wyandotte County and gained two new rural counties expected to make her reelection tougher.

“We literally saw up close and personal what happens when lives get upended because of these extreme policies.”

- Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.)

According to Daily Kos data, the 2020 presidential election vote margin for Joe Biden in the district as it’s now drawn would have been only 4.5 percentage points compared with almost 11 points in the old one.

When the decennial redistricting process began, the president of the Kansas Senate then, Susan Wagle, said state lawmakers were capable of drawing a map that would result in an all-Republican House delegation, which would mean unseating its only Democrat in Davids.

“I guarantee you, we can draw four Republican district maps,” she said.

In her campaign, Davids stressed reproductive rights, pointing to the surprise August victory of abortion rights advocates in a statewide referendum and touted Adkins’ links to unpopular former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to paint her opponent as too extreme for the district.

Adkins, in turn, tried to tie Davids to President Joe Biden by citing her voting record and asked voters if they were better off with higher inflation than they were two years ago.

In an interview with HuffPost in October, Davids said her district’s proximity to Missouri, where extreme abortion restrictions went into place after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June that overturned Roe v. Wade, brought the issue home.

“We literally saw up close and personal what happens when lives get upended because of these extreme policies,” she said.

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