Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib, 42, and Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar, 37, both made history last night by becoming the first Muslim women to serve in Congress. Both politicians are also progressives, hoping to shift the Democratic party further left. Among the policies they support are a $15 minimum wage and Medicare for All.


Omar is succeeding fellow Democrat Rep. Keith Ellison, who himself was the first Muslim person elected to Congress. He vacated his seat to run for state attorney general. Both women fared well in their Democratic primaries, with Tlaib running uncontested and Omar being the clear favorite in her district. Nevertheless, both women were among a large uptick in Muslim folks running for office this year.


“I stand here before you tonight as your congresswoman-elect with many firsts behind my name,” Omar proclaimed in her speech. “The first woman of color to represent our state in Congress, the first woman to wear a hijab, the first refugee ever elected to Congress and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress,” adding, “Here in Minnesota we don’t only welcome immigrants. We send them to Washington.”

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Tlaib is also the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, and many other politicians of color made historic firsts as well. Other landmark elections that transpired last night include Jared Polis becoming the first openly gay governor.

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