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Former Kenyan Refugee, Ilhan Omar Wins in US Elections in Minnesota

Former Kenyan Refugee, Ilhan Omar Wins in US Elections in Minnesota

Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American, will take over the seat vacated by former Rep. John Conyers.

In August, she emerged as the victor of a Democratic primary for a seat vacated by John Conyers, a longtime liberal lion who stepped down in December amid sexual harassment allegations and failing health.

Technically, Palestinian-American Rashida Harbi Tlaib is the first American Muslim woman to be elected to Congress.

Republicans who charge that the Democratic Party has departed from its pro-Israel bona fides point to Tlaib and Omar as proof.

Tlaib is a 42-year-old Detroit native. She will be the first hijab-wearing member of Congress.

Bassam Tlaib, the candidate's uncle, said she had "stood against Trump" at a time when "even our Arab leaders are unwilling to face (him)". After fleeing the country's civil war, she spent four years in a refugee camp before coming to the USA when she was 14.

Her family settled in Minnesota in 1997, where there is a sizable Somali population. She immigrated to the United States at age 12 and served as a Minneapolis City Council policy aide before winning election to the Legislature in 2016.

Omar has forged a progressive political identity.

As of 9:46 p.m. on November 6, media outlets have also declared Andy Levin, Debbie Dingell, and Brenda Lawrence winners in their respective U.S. House races.

Democratic Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress. She used that record of taking on corporate interests and defending local priorities as part of her campaign for election as a congressional representative. She has captured national attention because of her life story as a refugee who made her way into elected office.

In February, Omar spoke openly about what she saw as the president's prejudice against Muslims, saying there is no debate about "whether Trump is a racist". She ran for lieutenant governor and served one term as the state party chair.

"We did this, together", she wrote on Twitter Tuesday night.

There was no Republican on the ballot in the overwhelmingly Democratic district.


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