Sharice Davids edges Brent Welder for Democratic nomination, will face Kevin Yoder in fall

Sharice Davids speaking at a rally at the state capitol.

Former White House fellow Sharice Davids, who started her higher education at Johnson County Community College and went on to earn a law degree from Cornell, appears to have won a fiercely contested race for the Democratic nomination in the Kansas 3rd Congressional race.

She’ll face four-term incumbent Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in the fall.

If elected, she would be the first native American woman in the House of Representatives and the first openly gay person elected to Congress from Kansas.

Early election tallies had Davids trailing labor attorney Brent Welder, who had support from progressive organizers affiliated with the Bernie Sanders camp. But as Johnson County’s votes were slowly added to the totals, Davids opened up a small lead. The unofficial final tally released before 8 a.m. had her finishing with 37 percent of the primary vote to Welder’s 34 percent, a gap of more than 2,000 votes.

Prairie Village teacher Tom Niermann, who ran a centrist campaign and had attracted the support of some moderate Republicans, finished third in the race with 14 percent of the vote. He conceded the election before midnight.

Yoder won his primary, taking 68 percent of total vote. Challengers Trevor Keegan and Joe Myers finished with 19 percent and 13 percent of the Republican total, respectively.