Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim Congresswoman: Ilhan Omar set to follow

Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib becomes first Muslim woman elected to Congress

Born in Mogadishu, and raised in Baydhabo, Somalia, Omar gained worldwide attention in 2016 when she became the first Somali-American to be elected to a state legislature.

"Regardless of whether we win or lose, this gets to shift the narrative of what is possible", she said.

Omar, a Somali refugee, won a seat in the Midwestern state of Minnesota, where she will succeed Keith Ellison - the first Muslim elected to Congress.

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.

Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and became the first Muslim female member of Michigan's state legislature a decade ago. While she said there will be opportunities for Democrats to find compromise with President Donald Trump on some issues, such as infrastructure, she added, "there is a real opportunity for us to make that sure that we have a Congress that does its job". Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Democrat who ran for the House in Minnesota, will join Tlaib in Congress. She arrived in the USA, aged 14, after fleeing civil war in Somalia.

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Despite the edge from Democrats in 2016, President Donald Trump won Florida due to a surge of GOP voters on Election Day. As he left the polling place, a crowd gathered outside chanting, "Bring it home!" "I voted for you", she replied.

Tlaib will fill the seat formerly occupied by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left office a year ago amid accusations of sexual misconduct. She will also be the first Somali-American in Congress.

The former state representative also ran on a liberal platform, backing Medicare for All, immigration reform and a call to overturn Trump's executive order banning most people from five Muslim-majority nations from entering the United States.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year old Latina also became the youngest woman to serve in the US House after winning at the polls.

Some analysts who have closely followed Washington politics say Tuesday night's election outcomes are unsurprising. This seat has been held by Democrats since 1963.

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