Rashida Tlaib of Michigan Just Set Course to Become the First Muslim Woman in Congress
On Tuesday night, Rashida Tlaib won the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th District and is set to run unopposed in November to replace former US Rep. John Conyers, likely on her way to becoming the first Muslim-American woman elected to Congress. The win is especially meaningful given the circumstances; Conyers, 89, served for 52 years before resigning in November amid sexual harassment allegations that surfaced in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Tlaib, a 42-year-old mother of two sons, is the eldest daughter of Palestinian immigrants.
“Thank you so much for making this unbelievable moment possible,” Tlaib tweeted on Tuesday. “I am at a loss for words. I cannot wait to serve you in Congress.”
Running on a platform that touted the establishment of a $15 minimum wage; supporting unions; preventing cuts to social security, Medicare, and Medicaid; debt-free college and vocational training; and gender equality pay, Tlaib’s grassroots campaign raised more than $1 million dollars, according to The Detroit News. She was also highly endorsed by documentarian Michael Moore and newly-elected Democratic primary winner Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Last month, Tlaib spoke about being Muslim and how she’d incorporate that identity into her campaign.
“It’s not about just being out there and flaunting your faith,” Tlaib told CNN. “I always tell people that I’m exposing Islam in such a pivotal way, an impactful way, through public service.”
Tlaib is not the only Muslim-American candidate set to grace ballots in November. Ilhan Omar, a Somali refugee, is running for Congress in Minnesota’s District 5 and Deedra Abboud, who converted to Islam in her 20s, is running for a Senate seat in Arizona.
High-stakes primary elections were also held Tuesday in Kansas, Missouri, and Washington state in addition to a special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. With some states witnessing record-breaking voter turnout, the vote tallies were a nail-biter — in fact, the results of the Ohio race are still too close to call.
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(Photo via Rashida Tlaib for Congress / Facebook)