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Congress bound, Minnesota's Ilhan Omar enjoys another first

08 November 2018

A onetime Somali refugee, Omar, 37, won a House seat in a strongly Democratic district in Minneapolis, Minnesota, succeeding Keith Ellison who was himself the first Muslim ever elected to Congress.

When the new Congress convenes in January 2019, for the first time it will have at least one Muslim woman among its ranks.

Omar, another Democrat, is a Somali-American who came to the US over two decades ago as a refugee.

On January 1, 2009, Rashida became the first Muslim American woman to serve in the Michigan Legislature, and the second Muslim woman in history to be elected to any USA state legislature.

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She also recognized Michigan's Rashida Tlaib who is also Muslim for winning.

Tlaib's win comes after the 2016 election of Trump spurred a record number of women to put their names on the ballot.

After Tlaib won her primary race in August, she published several anti-Israel tweets, and re-tweeted a fan who declared that Tlaib's "first fight was for Palestine, always Palestine".

Omar, 36, was born in Somalia but fled with her family to Kenya as a refugee when she was 8.

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Tlaib will fill the seat formerly occupied by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left office past year amid accusations of sexual misconduct. "Yes, we marched outside the Capitol, but now we get to march into the Capitol", she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday. He was running Tuesday to be Minnesota attorney general.

Georgia governor's race candidate Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, was in a fierce battle to become America's first black woman governor, and Florida Democrat Andrew Gillum was bidding to become the first black governor of Florida. She has said she would vote to impeach President Donald Trump if given the chance.

The Palestinian-American Muslim ran under the Democratic Party, having previously served six years in the state legislature.

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Congress bound, Minnesota's Ilhan Omar enjoys another first