cloudy
Sunday January 20th, 2019 7:04AM
6:54PM ( 12 hours ago ) Weather Alert

Native American women's election to US House celebrated

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — As a girl, Debra Haaland remembers joining her grandmother as she chopped wood and fetched water for her home in tiny Mesita, a Native American community situated in New Mexico's high desert.

Haaland, an enrolled Laguna Pueblo member, is certain it was these early experiences and the example of her grandmother's work ethic that helped her win a seat in the U.S. House Representatives on Tuesday — a political victory that until this year had been beyond reach for numerous Native American women. Her fellow Democrat Sharice Davids, who is Ho-Chunk, also won her historic bid to represent a U.S. House district in Kansas.

Their wins add them to a record number of women elected to the U.S. House on Tuesday following an election cycle that also saw a significant boost in Native American female candidates at the state and local levels. In an interview, Haaland, a former New Mexico Democratic Party chairwoman, credited a vast political network she built after nearly 20 years of working on other candidates' campaigns, her team and volunteers, and her own hard work.

"My grandmother worked really hard; she expected us to work hard," Haaland said. "I mean that in and of itself is what really sustained me. It's my work ethic."

Haaland, who is 57, will replace U.S. Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat who ran successfully for governor this year. Her district covers Albuquerque and a handful of rural communities that include tribal communities.

Davids' district, meanwhile, lies in the suburbs west of Kansas City. She unseated U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Republican. In addition to being one of the first Native American congresswomen, she'll also be the nation's first LGBT Native American to serve as a federal lawmaker.

On election night, Davids, a lawyer and former White House fellow, highlighted her life story of being raised by a single mother, being a first-generation college student and working while she was in school, saying those experiences were not unusual.

"What is uncommon, until now, is to have those voices and those stories and those experiences truly reflected in our federal government, in Congress and the Senate," she said.

The two women will join U.S. Reps. Tom Cole, who is Chickasaw, and Markwayne Mullin, an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation, in the House. Cole and Mullin are Republicans, representing districts in Oklahoma.

Haaland and Davids' wins marked an emotional high point for Kalyn Free, a citizen of the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma and former district attorney in southeastern Oklahoma, who has been part of a decades-long push to get Native American women elected to Congress.

"l always say little Indian boys and little Indian girls cannot be what they cannot see," Free said. "Now, there are going to be two male Republicans and two very outspoken, two talented Indian Democrat women who are going to be there as well."

She recalled donating to the 1992 congressional campaign of Ada Deer, a Menominee woman who ran as a Democrat for a seat in Wisconsin. Twelve years later, Free herself ran for Congress in Oklahoma and then founded INDN's List, a political organization that sought to recruit and build support for Native American candidates.

In the past, Free said many Native American women she supported faced a "double barrier" along race and gender lines in winning over donors who doubted their competitiveness. But Haaland and Davids toppled it.

Haaland raised about $1.9 million, more than any of her opponents, despite hearing of doubts from other Democrats early in the race that she wouldn't be able to compete financially, she said. She cleared a crowded primary field before handily defeating former state lawmaker Janice Arnold-Jones, a Republican, in Tuesday's election.

Davids raised about $4.3 million, almost all of it since mid-July. The sum represented an unusually large amount of money for congressional races in the state. In the final full month of her race alone, she recorded a $1.16-million haul.

Federal Election Commission filings showed both candidates benefiting from a mix of individual and super PAC contributions, as well as donations from numerous tribes in their states and beyond.

"We have to compete at the same level," Free said. "We have to have money, professional staff, and data-driven campaigns. That's the difference."

Haaland said her fundraising push included visits to tribes' administration buildings throughout the country, where she said she discussed a range of issues with tribal leaders.

In what has become a reliably Democratic district in the past decade, she ran on a progressive agenda that prioritized health care, public education and the environment, saying the issues span the interests of her constituents and Native Americans nationwide.

"I hope that I can help (tribes) to see some success with my win," she said. "When I go to Congress, it's, you know, them having a seat at the table. It's them having a voice."

___

Associated Press writer John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas, contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General House Election News, AP Elections - Campaigns
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Williams runs wild, Texas A&M routs NC State 52-13 in Gator
Trayveon Williams ran for 236 yards and three touchdowns, smashing a 30-year-old school record and carrying No. 21 Texas A&M to a 52-13 victory against beat North Carolina State in the Gator Bowl
11:09PM ( 4 days ago )
Harden's 43 points, triple-double lead Rockets over Memphis
James Harden had a triple-double of 43 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to their fifth straight win, 113-101, over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night
10:53PM ( 4 days ago )
Deadline passes without Russian turnover of data to WADA
Deadline passes without Russian turnover of data, samples to WADA
10:43PM ( 4 days ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Animal advocates: Fatal zoo mauling shows need for crackdown
Animal welfare advocates say fatal mauling of intern illustrates need to crack down on unaccredited exhibitors
9:36PM ( 4 days ago )
The Latest: House Dems unveil plan to re-open government
House Democrats have unveiled a package of bills that would re-open the federal government without approving funding for President Donald Trump's border wall with Mexico
9:31PM ( 4 days ago )
Human waste, trash overwhelm some national parks in shutdown
Human feces, overflowing garbage, illegal off-roading and other damaging behavior in fragile areas were beginning to overwhelm some of the West's iconic national parks
8:52PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Trump says he's ready to negotiate with Dems
President Donald Trump says he's "ready, willing and able" to negotiate an end to the partial government shutdown that has now stretched into its 10th day
5:27PM ( 5 days ago )
House Democrats have a plan to re-open government
House Democrats are introducing legislation to re-open government, but without extra money for President Donald Trump's border wall
3:30PM ( 5 days ago )
Mattis' final words from Pentagon: 'Hold fast' with allies
Jim Mattis ended one of history's more turbulent tenures as defense secretary by re-emphasizing a key difference with President Donald Trump and encouraging Pentagon employees, civilian and military, to "hold fast" in defense of the nation
3:26PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Online Congress News
Elizabeth Warren makes big move toward 2020 presidential run
Sen. Elizabeth Warren is taking the first major step toward running for president
4:27PM ( 5 days ago )
Bangladesh prime minister denies accusations of rigged vote
Bangladesh Prime Minister-elect Sheikh Hasina is trumpeting her accomplishments and dismissing opposition claims that an election giving her a record fourth term in power was rigged
3:29PM ( 5 days ago )
Congo cuts internet after presidential poll beset by delays
As votes are counted Monday in Congo's long-delayed presidential election, the internet was cut across the vast Central African country, apparently to prevent social media speculation about the results
1:35PM ( 5 days ago )
AP Elections
House leader: Dems won't seat candidate in unresolved race
One of the leaders of the Democrats taking power in the U.S. House says they would reject seating a Republican candidate in an unresolved North Carolina race next week because of fraud concerns
5:41PM ( 1 week ago )
North Carolina governor reshapes board amid ballots probe
North Carolina's governor is trying to move fast to reassemble the disbanding state elections board investigating ballot fraud allegations in a still-unresolved congressional race
3:36PM ( 1 week ago )
N. Carolina governor reshapes board amid congressional probe
North Carolina's governor is trying to move fast to reassemble the disbanding state elections board investigating ballot fraud allegations in a still-unresolved congressional race
12:47PM ( 1 week ago )
General House Election News
The Latest: Bangladesh opposition calls election 'farcical'
Bangladesh opposition alliance leader Kamal Hossain has called the country's general election "farcical," and says any outcome will be rejected
3:22PM ( 6 days ago )
Congo on Sunday faces a troubled, long-delayed election
Congo on Sunday faces a troubled, long-delayed election; 'We will contest the results'
1:26PM ( 1 week ago )
In Iowa, Democrats see 2020 as head vs. heart moment
In Iowa, Democrats see presidential race as test of head vs. heart
5:34AM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Campaigns
Iowa State drubs No. 5 Kansas 77-60
Marial Shayok scores 24 points as Iowa State routs No. 5 Kansas 77-60 for its 5th straight win
8:12PM ( 23 minutes ago )
Luck has 2 TDs to lead Colts over Texans 21-7 in wild card
Andrew Luck threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns as the Indianapolis Colts raced out to a big lead and cruised to a 21-7 win over the Houston Texans in the wild-card game on Saturday
7:53PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown dies at 91
Former Defense Secretary Harold Brown, who guided American military during the Carter administration, dies at 91
7:46PM ( 48 minutes ago )
Film critics choose 'The Rider' as best picture of 2018
The National Society of Film Critics has chosen Chloe Zhao's "The Rider" as best picture of 2018
7:20PM ( 1 hour ago )
Venezuela's congress names new leader, vows to battle Maduro
Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress has opened its first session of the year, installing a fresh-faced leader who struck a defiant tone toward embattled socialist President Nicolas Maduro
7:16PM ( 1 hour ago )