Published: Thu, November 08, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Former Kenyan Refugee, Ilhan Omar Wins in US Elections in Minnesota

Former Kenyan Refugee, Ilhan Omar Wins in US Elections in Minnesota

Multiple outlets have called the race.

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

She made history in 2008 by winning a seat on the Michigan Legislature, becoming the first Muslim woman to do so.

The Democrat lived at the Daad refugee camp in Kenya for four years and could not even speak English at the time she relocated to the US.

"I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect".

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 will fill the seat formerly occupied by Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who left office previous year amid accusations of sexual misconduct. It is open, with the seat being vacated by Rep. Keith Ellison, who is running for Minnesota Attorney General.

Tlaib said at a summit celebrating women of color in politics. Born in Mogadishu and came to the USA in 1995 at 14-years-old.

Rashida Tlaib, a social worker born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrant parents, won a House seat in a district where she ran unopposed by a Republican candidate.

Omar, who arrived in the U.S. at the age of 14 after fleeing civil war in Somalia and lived in Kenya's Dadaab camp, campaigned on a platform which called for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges. The first refugee ever elected to Congress. "Yes, we marched outside the Capitol, but now we get to march into the Capitol", she wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

The result of the elections means that the Republicans no longer hold both wings of the USA congress, handing President Donald Trump's political opponents a stronger foothold in Washington.

Key gains for the Republicans came in Indiana, Missouri and North Dakota, where they unseated Democrat incumbents.

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