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First Native American women elected to Congress: Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland

(CNN) – Democrats Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland will become the first Native American women elected to Congress, CNN has projected.

In New Mexico, Haaland will replace Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who vacated the seat to run for governor, and Davids will unseat Kansas GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder.

Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Haaland is an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna, according to their respective campaigns.

The projected victories for the two Native American women mark a milestone in the US political system.

Davids identifies as a lesbian, making her the first openly LGBT member of Congress from Kansas. She will enter Congress as a lawyer and a former mixed martial arts fighter.Haaland won her district’s primary in June, which put her in position to take the general election against Republican congressional nominee Janice Arnold-Jones. CNN rated the district “solid Democrat.’CNN rated the seat that Davis is set to win as “lean Democrat.”

The wins also came as Native Americans brought legal action over alleged voter suppression again this cycle, with the Spirit Lake Tribe filing a complaint in October against North Dakota over a voter identification law the tribe said disenfranchised voters living on reservations.

According to the Campaign Legal Center, federal Judge Daniel Hovland denied a request last week from the tribe for an order stopping the ID requirement.

Julia Leon

Julia Leon

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