MINNESOTA – America’s first Somali-American legislator, Ilhan Omar (D), won the Minnesota Democratic primary on Tuesday night, becoming more likely to make history as one of the first Muslim women in Congress.
“We started this campaign to prove people are ready and willing to fight for an America that works for all of us. To every staff member, volunteer, donor, and voter, this win is just as much yours as it is mine,” Omar said in a tweet shortly after declaring victory, CNN reported.
“Together, we will move our district, state, and nation forward.”
Omar, who entered a race against a pack of five other candidates to fill current Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat, won 48 percent of Tuesday’s primary vote.
Ellison, who was the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, decided to run for Minnesota attorney general rather than return to Congress.
Omar will go head-to-head with Republican nominee Jennifer Zielinski in November.
Given the district’s partisan makeup, she is all but assured of being elected to the House in November.
Omar and Michigan Democratic nominee Rashida Tlaib are aiming to become the first Muslim-American women to serve in Congress.
Omar became the nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker after being elected last November 2016 as a state representative from Minneapolis.
The 33-year-old Omar was born in Somalia before she fled to the US to escape civil war.
She stayed for four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before ultimately moving to the Somali-American neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside, where she has lived for nearly two decades and is currently director of policy initiatives at Women Organizing Women.