Congratulations Ilham Omar and Rashida Tlaib!
The victories by the two Democrats, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, came on an election night when members of multiple minority groups had a chance to score electoral firsts.
Voters in Minnesota and Michigan elected the first two Muslim women to serve in the US Congress, a former refugee who fled Somalia’s civil war and a Detroit-born Palestinian-American.
Tuesday’s midterm elections marked two years since Donald Trump’s shock election victory – the first test of how his Republican party is faring in the eyes of the American public.
And the victories by the two Democrats, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, came on an election night when members of multiple minority groups had a chance to score electoral firsts. A swing towards Democrats.
In Minnesota, Omar, 36 and a state representative, follows another trailblazer: She will succeed US Congressman Keith Ellison, who in 2006 became the first Muslim elected to Congress and is stepping down to run for state attorney general.
The Minneapolis woman campaigned on policies embraced by the Democratic Party’s most liberal wing: universal health care, free college tuition and robust public housing.
Two years ago, she became the first Somali-American to win a seat in a state legislature, on the same night Republican Donald Trump won the presidency after a campaign in which he called for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States.
Omar will also be the first Congress member to wear a Muslim hijab or head scarf.
Tlaib, 42, is the oldest of 14 children, Tlaib was born to a family of Palestinian immigrants in Detroit, where her father worked at a Ford Motor Co plant.
The former state representative also ran on a liberal platform, backing Medicare for All, immigration reform and a call to overturn Trump’s executive order banning most people from five Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.
Both women ran in heavily Democratic districts. Minnesota state data showed Omar winning by a large margin, and Michigan media reported that Tlaib had won.