Six Democrats are now in the race to try to unseat Rep. Kevin Yoder, the Republican who has represented the Kansas' 3rd District since 2011.
Sharice Davids from Shawnee jumped in the race Thursday.
"When elected, Davids will be Kansas’ first openly-gay Representative and the nation’s first female Native American member of Congress," Davids said in a statement announcing her run.
Up until today, the field included only white men.
“I’m sure once my picture is up there, I’m sitting on stage with them it will be a stark difference,” she says. Davids does say that the Democrats in the race are taking about women and LGBT issues but “I will definitely have a different lens.”
Davids is the second woman to enter the race. Lawyer Andrea Ramsey withdrew from the Democratic field in December after it became public that a male employee had filed a lawsuit, alleging in 2005 Ramsey had sexual harassed him when she was a corporate executive.
Davids enters the race on a day when much of the county is talking about the mass school shooting Wednesday in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and many more wounded. Her mom was in the Army and she grew up with guns for hunting, so she supports the Second Amendment but not without some restrictions. “We need to be talking about some of the common sense things we can do to reduce all these awful and sad and disturbing incidences that have been going on.” Those include expanded background checks and a ban on assault weapons, Davids says.
Davids is a Cornell Law School graduate who also has a degree from UMKC. She fought briefly as a professional in Mixed Martial Arts and is a 2016 White House fellow, according to her campaign biography. The 37-year-old is an economic development consultant for a number of Native American tribes, she says.
Sam Zeff is KCUR's Metro Reporter. Follow him on Twitter @SamZeff.