Eleven Indigenous candidates are running for Congress in 10 states as voting members. Ten are seeking seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one is a U.S. Senate candidate.
The newest Indigenous candidate to win office is Mary Peltola. The Yup’ik woman won a special election earlier this year to fill a term that ends in January. She’s seeking a full term this time.
(Related: ICT's #NativeVote2022 coverage)
Here are the Indigenous candidates on the ballots in alphabetical order by state. This article will be updated throughout election night.
U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola, Yup’ik, was elected in the special election and is now running for a full term. She was the first Indigenous person and first woman elected to represent Alaska in the U.S. House. Challengers include Republican Sarah Palin and Nick Begich and Libertarian candidate Chris Bye. Due to the sheer number of mail-in ballots, as well as the ranked-choice voting system, this race isn’t expected to be called for up to two weeks.
John Mark Porter: Lost
John Mark Porter, Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone, is running for California’s 33rd congressional district as a Republican. His opponent is Democrat and incumbent Pete Aguilar, who has served seven years.
Joe Akana: Lost
Republican Joe Akana, Native Hawaiian, advanced from the primary election for congressional district 2. This will also be his second time running. His opponents are Democrat Jill Tokuda and Libertarian Michelle Rose Tippens. Tokuda was declared the winner by the Associated Press
Sharice Davids: Won
U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, Ho-Chunk, is running for reelection to secure a third term. She is running against Republican Amanda Adkins and Libertarian Steve Hole.
Charles Graham: Lost
State Rep. Charles Graham, Lumbee, is looking to represent North Carolina’s 7th congressional district. The state is home to the largest Indigenous nation east of the Mississippi River. Graham now represents Robeson County in the General Assembly that is 44 percent Native American, according to the U.S. Census. His opponent is Republican David Rouzer.
From Nevada, Elizabeth Mercedes Krause, Oglala Lakota, ran for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. Republican and incumbent Mark Amodei was declared the winner with nearly 64 percent of the vote, according to the Associated Press. Krause had 34 percent of the vote with 71 percent reporting. Other candidates were Libertarian Darryl Baber and Russell Best of the Independent American Party.
U.S. Rep Yvette Herrell is seeking her second term. This has turned the district from red leaning to a toss-up race. Herrell, Cherokee Nation, is running against Democrats Gabe Vasquez and Eliseo Luna, a write-in candidate.
Markwayne Mullin: Won
U.S. Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Cherokee Nation, is moving on from U.S. House to run for U.S. Senate. His opponents are Democratic Kendra Horn, Libertarian Robert Murphy and independent Ray Woods. All are vying to serve the remaining four years of retiring Republican Jim Inhofe's term.
Tom Cole: Won
The longest-serving Indigenous member of Congress, Rep. Tom Cole, Chickasaw Nation, is looking to secure his 11th term. He’s running for Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District, where he is favored to win. He had two challengers in the Republican primary and won with 70 percent of the votes. He will face democrat Mary Brannon.
Taysha DeVaughan: Lost
Taysha DeVaughan, Comanche Nation, is running for the U.S. House to represent district 9. She faces Republican and incumbent H. Morgan Griffith.
Lynnette Grey Bull: Lost
Lynnette Grey Bull, Northern Arapaho and Hunkpapa Lakota, secured another Democratic nomination for the second election in a row. She will be facing Donald Trump-endorsed Republican Harriet Hageman, Libertarian Richard Brubaker and Constitution Party’s Marissa Selvig.
ICT has compiled a database of Indigenous candidates. The database is not complete and ICT encourages people to email political correspondent Pauly Denetclaw at firstname.lastname@example.org to add a past or current 2022 candidate to the list.
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