Former refugee becomes America’s first Somali-American Muslim woman legislator
Those feeling bitterly disappointed at learning 2016 would not be the year a woman become President for the first time may find some comfort in the results of one election which went largely under the radar on Tuesday.
But one woman who did make history was Ilhan Omar, who became America’s first Somalian-American Muslim woman legislator on Tuesday night.
The 34-year-old former refugee was standing in District 60B in Minneapolis and claimed victory in the Minnesota House race.
Ms Omar arrived in the United States aged 12 after fleeing the civil war which ravaged her home country of Somalia. After initially arriving in Somalia, she spent four years at a Kenyan refugee camp, reports The Star Tribune.
“I am so proud of this win because District 60B represents Minnesota at its finest,” Ms Omar said. “My neighbours and everyone here in this room, represents what we as a nation want to be: United in our diversity. Long time residents, East African immigrants and students – we came together and engaged in the political progress. We talked about the issues that concern us and we connected on the future we want to create.
“Tonight, we are celebrating this win, our win. But our work won’t stop. We will continue to build a more prosperous and equitable district – state and nation – where each and every one of us has opportunities to thrive and move forward together.”
Minnesota has voted Democrat since 1972 but had its margin held by President Obama reduced in 2012.