Ponka-We Victors (born July 7, 1981) is a community support worker from Wichita, Kansas who has been a Democratic member of the Kansas House of Representatives, representing District 103, since 2011. She is the only Native American in the Kansas legislature; and believes she may be the only one in the state's history.
Victors is a member of the Ponca and Tohono O'odham tribes of Native Americans, and a lifelong resident of Wichita. She earned a Bachelor's degree in biology from Newman University in 2005, and a Masters of Public Administration from Wichita State University in 2008.
Victors, who had worked as a Congressional intern, had been a long-time backer of Delia Garcia, the incumbent Representative from the 103rd District, when at the last moment Garcia, instead of running for re-election, instead helped Victors (then 28) file as the only candidate for the 2010 Democratic primary election just hours before the filing deadline, thus making her the presumptive winner (the last Republican to vie for this seat was in 1998, when incumbent Democrat Thomas Klein polled 57% of the vote in a three-way race). Victors won election unopposed in the November general election.
"Illegal immigrants" speech
In 2013, Victors drew national attention when during a hearing on a bill to deny in-state tuition to Kansas high school graduates who were undocumented immigrants, Victors addressed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and other advocates of the bill, saying, "I think it’s funny Mr. Kobach, because when you mention illegal immigrant, I think of all of you."
Victors is currently employed by a company called Behavioral Link.
- Official House website
- Project Vote Smart biography
- Project Vote Smart legislative profile
- Campaign contributions: 2010
- Kansas Legislators Present and Present-Ponka-We Victors
- Koranda, Jeannine. "Wichita’s 103rd District has a new state representative: Ponka-We Victors" Wichita Eagle June 10, 2010
- Official Kansas House of Representatives General Election Results, 2010
- Kansas Secretary of State, "Candidates for the 2012 primary (official)"
- C-SPAN, "Kansas - Summary Vote Results"
- Kansas Secretary of State, 2012 Unofficial Kansas General Election Results
- Marso, Andy. "Emotions flow during immigrant tuition hearing; Indian lawmaker to Kobach: Who's the illegal immigrant here?" Topeka Capital-Journal March 20, 2013
- Planas, Roque. "Kris Kobach Slammed By Native American Rep. Ponka-We Victors: ‘When You Mention Illegal Immigrant, I Think Of All Of You'" Huffington Post March 21, 2013