Michigan Likely Just Elected the First Muslim Congresswoman — And She Was Once Booted for Heckling Trump
Alexandra Ma, Business Insider, August 8, 2018
Rashida Tlaib on Tuesday won the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives in Michigan’s 13th District, putting her on track to become the first Muslim congresswoman in US history.
She will run unopposed in November, as the Republican Party has not put forward a candidate to contest the seat.
Tlaib is poised to take the seat previously held by John Conyers, the Democratic congressman who left his seat in December following multiple sexual-harassment allegations . Conyers had been in Congress representing various Michigan districts since 1965.
Tlaib had won 33.2% of the votes as of early Wednesday morning, The New York Times reported, with 96% of the votes counted. The first runner-up, Brenda Jones, trailed her by more than 3,000 votes.
The 42-year-old progressive candidate, who was born in Detroit to Palestinian immigrants, isn’t new to politics. She was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 2008 to 2014, when she hit her term limit.
An experienced Trump protester
Two years ago she was forcibly removed from a ticketed luncheon in Detroit after heckling Trump, then the Republican presidential nominee, who was giving a speech on economics.
An ‘aggressive’ campaign similar to Ocasio-Cortez’s
Tlaib’s progressive campaign is similar to that of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old socialist candidate for New York’s 14th District who beat a veteran politician in a major upset within the Democratic Party earlier this year.
Tlaib’s campaign includes providing Medicare for all, securing a $15 state minimum wage, and fighting big corporations for worker and union rights.
A Muslim in Trump’s America
Tlaib has privately agonized over anti-Muslim sentiment in the US, CNN said.
She told the news network earlier this year that when her son saw a US news platform publish a cartoon comparing Muslims to Nazis, he told her: “Mama, don’t worry, if anybody asks if I’m Muslim, I will lie and tell them I’m not.”