Ilhan Omar Defeats Jennifer Zielinski In Minnesota’s 5th District Race

  • Ilhan Omar Defeats Jennifer Zielinski In Minnesota’s 5th District Race

Ilhan Omar Defeats Jennifer Zielinski In Minnesota’s 5th District Race

Voters in Minnesota and MI have elected the first two Muslim women to serve in the US Congress, a former refugee who fled Somalia's civil war and a Detroit-born Palestinian-American.

A 42-year-old Michigan Democrat ran unopposed in Michigan's 13th district House race, but fended off a last-minute write-in challenge from a woman she defeated in the August primary.

She made history in 2008 by winning a seat on the Michigan Legislature, becoming the first Muslim woman to do so. "And that if you just believe, believe in the possibility of someone like me".

A former refugee at Daadab in Kenya will now be part of the 435-member US House of Representatives following her victory in the Minnesota congress elections.

She was joined shortly after on Tuesday night by Omar, who ran for the Democrats in Minnesota's fifth district.

In 2008, she became the first Muslim woman to serve in the MI state legislature. A self-styled progressive, Tlaib is a vocal critic of President Donald Trump and was arrested two years ago for disrupting a Trump speech in Detroit. Congressman Andre Carson, who is Muslim and African American, won re-election in his safely-Democratic district in the state of Indiana.

Her campaign platform included pledges to secure a $15 minimum wage, preventing cuts to welfare programmes, such as Medicare and Social Security, as well as stopping tax relief to large corporations.

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. Following her win in 2016, Omar said her political involvement had become more than "about me or the win or the loss".