US midterms: first Muslim women elected to congress
- The two politicians will increase the total number of Muslims in the House to three
Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, and Somali-American Ilhan Omar became the first Muslim women elected to the US House of Representatives, after winning their contests in Michigan and Minnesota.
Tlaib was a shoo-in for the Detroit area 13th district after she won the Democratic primary in August. A former state representative, Tlaib, won the seat long held by Democrat John Conyers, who resigned in December amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Omar was elected in Minnesota’s 5th district, a heavily Democratic area that includes Minneapolis and surrounding areas. Somali-born Omar succeeds Representative Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, who ran for attorney general.
In a quirk, a special election for the Michigan seat was also held in August. That was won by Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who’s poised to serve as a congresswoman for the rest of the year, though she may have to resign from the Detroit position to do so. Jones lost the Democratic primary for the full term to Tlaib.