Muslim women make history with wins in Michigan, Minnesota
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2018 10:52PM EST
A Somali-American refugee from Minnesota and a Palestinian-American activist from Michigan made history on Tuesday as the first two Muslim women elected to the United States House of Representatives.
Self-described Democratic Socialist Ilhan Omar won Minnesota's 5th District race, where she easily defeated Republican activist Jennifer Zielinski on a platform that includes health care for all and a $15 minimum wage.
Omar, 36, fled her homeland of Somalia at the age of eight and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp before immigrating with family to the United States. She eventually settled in Minneapolis.
Omar worked to fight hunger before becoming elected to the state’s legislature since 2016.
The district sending Omar to Washington is considered a very safe seat for the Democrats; it was recently vacated by high-profile Rep. Keith Ellison.
Omar considers herself a Democratic Socialist. She has said she would vote to impeach President Donald Trump if given the chance.
“We did this, together,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday night. “Thank you!”
In Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, 42, was elected to represent the 13th district, which is one of the safest Democratic seats.
Born in Detroit to Palestinian-American parents, Tlaib served in Michigan’s state legislature from 2008 to 2014.
Tlaib is also considered a Democratic Socialist. She’s a supporter of abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Tlaib was endorsed by filmmaker Michael Moore and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
With files from The Associated Press