Former Michigan State Representative Rashida Tlaib won the Democratic nomination for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District, marking the first time a Muslim woman is elected into Congress. Tlaib ran for the House seat that was previously held by former Democratic Representative John Conyers Jr.
Аccording to The Associated Press, she defeated five other candidates in the state’s Democratic primary. No Republicans or third-party candidates ran in the primary, meaning that Tlaib is unopposed and she is now set to start a two-year term in Congress after the November election.
HuffPost wrote that she would become the first Muslim woman and Palestinian-American in Congress.
“People think it’s corny ― I do want to change the world, and I want people like me to have a seat at the table,” Tlaib told HuffPost last month.
Tlaib served in the Michigan House from 2009 to 2014, according to the AP which noted that the Democratic primary to fill the remaining months of Conyers’s term, where she battled Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, was still too close to call as of Wednesday morning.
Conyers resigned in December 2017 due to mounting allegations of sexual harassment after representing the Detroit area for 52 years.
Tlaib has said her decision to run was prompted by increasing attacks against American Muslims and immigrants since Donald Trump was elected.
“I didn’t run because my election would be historic,” she told ABC News last week. “I ran because of injustices and because of my boys, who are questioning their [Muslim] identity and whether they belong. I’ve never been one to stand on the sidelines.”
“When you see a Palestinian person with your name and faith succeed, it shows [the government] can ban us from coming into the country, but not from getting elected,” Tlaib added. “Showing people it can be done would be a victory to my family.”
There are two Muslim-American men serving in the House, Democratic Representatives Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana, but no women.