Historic Candidate Set to Take John Conyers Seat in Congress
Former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib has won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed (no Republicans ran in the district) for the House seat long held by former Congressman John Conyers, setting her up to become the first Palestinian Congresswoman. She could also be the first Muslim woman elected to Congress as well depending on how other historic candidates running across the country make out. Ilhan Omar, a Somali American who is a top candidate in next week’s Democratic primaries in Minnesota, is also running in a deep-blue district and would be expected to advance should she win next Tuesday. Tlaib bested the competition and pulled off a win in a majority-Black district contested by several prominent figures in the Black community including Conyers’ nephew. Still, the 42-year-old took 33.6% of the vote following a strong grassroots campaign in which she raised more than $1 million. After graduating from Wayne State University Law School in 2004, Tlaib -- who is the eldest of 14 children -- went to work in Michigan State Legislature. She won her first campaign in the Michigan House of Representatives in 2008 and became just the second Muslim woman to serve in a state legislature nationwide, after Jamilah Nasheed of Missouri. The 13th Congressional District she will represent includes a large southern area of suburban Detroit in Wayne County. After boundary lines were redrawn in 2012, the 13th is the only congressional district entirely within one county. “People are ready for someone like me. I’m not talking about being Muslim, Palestinian, brown or a woman,” she said. “I vote the right way and go beyond that.” More here.