World

1st Muslim woman in US Congress Rashida Tlaib poised for historic victory

The 42-year-old has served in the Michigan House from 2009 to 2014 .

New York: A 42-year-old Muslim woman has won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed for a House seat in Michigan, bringing her closer to becoming the first female from the minority community to be elected to the US Congress, reports said on Wednesday.

Rashida Tlaib, a former state Representative, has won a crowded battle to replace former US Representative John Conyers Jr in the Michigan’s 13th Congressional District Democratic primary, according to reports.

No Republican is running for the seat in the Democratic-leaning district, meaning Palestinian-origin Tlaib is virtually guaranteed to win the seat in election scheduled for November.

Tlaib had pulled in 33.2% of the vote over Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who has 29.2%, with 96% of precincts reporting, officials said.

The Palestinian-origin Tlaib has boasted a grassroots campaign and came out on top in fundraising, topping $1 million. Tlaib had served in the Michigan House from 2009 until 2014.

Daughter of Palestinian immigrants

  • The daughter of Palestinian immigrants and the eldest of 14 children, Tlaib became the first Muslim woman in the state legislature in 2008.
  • Her victory comes amid increase in Islamophobia across the US, in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 and Trump’s hostile immigration policies towards immigrants.
  • The 13th Congressional District she will represent includes a large southern area of suburban Detroit in Wayne County.
  • She was a lawyer and community activist prior to her political career.
  • After boundary lines were redrawn in 2012, the 13th is the only congressional district in the US.
  • In 2016, Hillary Clinton won the 13th District by 60.6 points while Trump, a Republican, won by 0.2 points.

A happy chaos

“My day is filled with emotion and it is a happy chaos. Especially meeting voters and talking to them, they are inspired. One resident said she is happy for me. It is been amazing to interact with families at polling locations. I feel very much supported.” – Rashida Tlaib

89-year-old John Conyers served cong for 52 yrs

The 89-year-old John Conyers Jr was first elected to the House in 1964. He is a retired American politician of the Democratic Party who served as a Representative for Michigan from 1965 to 2017.

He served over 50 years in Congress, becoming the sixth-longest serving member of Congress in US history. Conyers stepped down in December citing health reasons, though several former female staffers had accused him of sexual harassment.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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