Ilhan Omar Defeats Jennifer Zielinski In Minnesota’s 5th District Race

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A former Daadab refugee, Ilhan Omar has become the first Somali woman to be elected to the US Congress and only the second Muslim to win a congress seat.

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

Ilhan Omar in an October file photo. She will succeed the first Muslim congressman, Keith Ellison, who vacated the seat to run in Minnesota's attorney general race.

She made national headlines in September when she defeated powerful incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary.

Democrats Ilhan Omar of Minnesota and Rashida Tlaib of MI won their respective races and will represent their districts in the House of Representatives.

Omar, who arrived in the USA 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.

Only two other Muslims have been elected to Congress, and both are men now in office: Ellison and Indiana Democratic Rep. Andre Carson.

Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, said in recent interviews that she favors a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as opposed to a two-state solution that would establish a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

She shared: "We changed the course of history at a time we thought it was impossible".

In August, she emerged as the victor of a Democratic primary for a seat vacated by John Conyers, a longtime liberal lion who stepped down in December amid sexual harassment allegations and failing health.

Ilhan Omar, a 36-year-old Somali refugee, who immigrated to the United States as a teenager, beat Republican Jennifer Zielinski to take Ellison's seat. Tlaib said at a summit celebrating women of color in politics.

She campaigned on a platform calling for free tuition and promising to fight to expand Medicare coverage to all Americans. She could not speak English and only learnt by watching television. "And that if you just believe, believe in the possibility of someone like me".

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