Congresswoman Sharice Davids, a Democrat of Roeland Park, Kansas, is being vetted for the position of Secretary of Agriculture in the administration of President-elect Joe Biden. She would be the first openly gay person to serve in the cabinet on a permanent basis (Ambassador Rick Grenell served briefly as Director of National Intelligence on an interim basis in the Trump administration), and she would be the first indigenous person to serve in a cabinet role.
During the Trump administration, the Department of Agriculture was formally relocated from Washington to Kansas City — in an effort to better connect the federal bureaucracy with those it is intended to serve.
Rep. Davids represents a moderate swing district in the suburbs of Kansas City.
Davids was born on May 22, 1980, in Frankfurt, West Germany. She was raised by a single mother who served in the US Army, in a long line of intergenerational military service. Her father, also a veteran, was a citizen of the Mohican Nation of Stockbridge-Munsee Indians, in Oneida, Wisconsin. Davids is a member of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people and an enrolled member of the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin.
Davids attended Leavenworth High School, Haskell Indian Nations University, the University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College, and the University of Missouri–Kansas City, graduating from the last with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2007.
Davids began competing in mixed martial arts (MMA) as an amateur in 2006, and went professional in 2013. She had a 5–1 win-loss record as an amateur and a 1–1 record as a professional.
Davids began her legal career at SNR Denton in 2010. She later directed community and economic development for the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and opened her own business, Hoka Coffee. In 2016, she worked as a White House Fellow in the Department of Transportation during the transition between the Obama and Trump administrations.
In the 2018 election, Davids ran for the United States House of Representatives in Kansas’s 3rd congressional district. She defeated fellow Democrat Brent Welder, who had been endorsed by Bernie Sanders, by a margin of 37% to 34% in the August primary election and faced incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder in the November 6, 2018, general election, 53% to 43%.
On December 18, 2019, Davids voted to impeach President Donald Trump and was the only person representing Kansas to do so. Davids was named a vice-chair of the 2020 Democratic National Convention.
Davids serves on the House Small Business Committee and the House Transportation Committee. She co-chairs the House LGBT Equality Caucus.