OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Democratic U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids secured her third term in Congress on Tuesday night after defeating Republican challenger Amanda Adkins for the second time.
The Associated Press called the race just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, but Adkins conceded the race minutes before that.
Preliminary results show Davids secured about 55% of the vote Tuesday over Adkins, a former corporate executive and Kansas GOP chair, and Libertarian Steven Hohe.
This was a rematch for Davids and Adkins, who also faced off in 2020. Davids beat Adkins 53-43% two years ago, but the district has drastically changed since then.
New voting districts drawn by the Republican-led legislature divided Kansas City, Kansas, in half, costing Davids one of the areas where she performed best in 2020. It also brought majority of three heavily Republican counties to the Kansas 3rd District.
Davids is the only Democrat in Kansas’ congressional delegation, and Republicans were hoping to flip the seat back, possibly helping them regain control of the U.S. House.
But the dynamic changed in June, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Kansas voters responded in August by overwhelmingly rejecting a ballot measure expected to lead to more restrictions or a ban on abortion.
That vote left Davids and other Democrats optimistic. Majority of Davids’ campaign focused on the issue of abortion, trying to keep those August voters energized to do so again in November.
Even with a new, more divided 3rd District, 67.5% of its voters opposed the Kansas anti-abortion measure in the August abortion referendum.
During the campaign, Davids attacked Adkins for her long association with former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback, whose notorious 2012-13 experiment in cutting taxes was followed by budget shortfalls.
Adkins hit Davids hard on pocketbook issues, crime and border security. Ads have also attacked Davids over the economy and high prices.
Former U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, the four-term GOP incumbent that Davids ousted in 2018, praised Adkins as a candidate, but he pointed to the dominance of the suburbs in the 3rd district as the reason the race remains challenging for the GOP.
“It’s still a Biden district,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.