Native American candidates from both major parties showed mixed results in the 2022 midterm elections. Republican Markwayne Mullin, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, won a special election to represent Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate. Mullin becomes the first Native American to serve in the U.S. Senate since former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Northern Cheyenne) retired in 2005. Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk) won a third term to represent Kansas in the U.S. House. Davids, a Democrat who made history as one of the first Native American women to be elected to Congress, beat back a challenge by her Republican opponent in a redrawn district. Davids earned 55% of the vote, while her Republican opponent Amanda Adkins won 42% in the election. And tribal member and Democratic U.S. House Representative Mary Peltola beat out Alaska’s Sarah Palin for the states only U.S. House seat in that state.
Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt has held off a bruising challenge to his reelection, defeating Democrat Joy Hofmeister. The 49-year-old Stitt won despite Hofmeister’s support from many of the state’s Native American tribes with whom Stitt had feuded during much of his first term.
Analysis underscores financial hurdles for Native American, rural voters…“It’s not fair when you have limited income and you have to choose between gas money and food for the week. Having a polling site that is local, that people can walk to, like there have been in the past, does certainly make a difference,” said Nicole Donaghy, executive director of North Dakota Native Vote.