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Illinois County Appoints First Muslim Board Member

A suburb of Chicago’s Will and DuPage counties has appointed Saud Gazanfer as the first American Muslim to serve on the county board, setting a precedent in the county’s history.

Gazanfer, a software engineer, has lived in Bolingbrook for more than 15 years. He previously ran for the Bolingbrook Park District board.

A Democrat from Bolingbrook, he was voted Thursday to fill a vacancy of the seat once held by Ken Harris, who resigned at the end of last year to take over as DuPage Township assessor, Herald News reported.

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“Saud has been a dedicated member of the Democratic Party for years,” said Will County Board Speaker Mimi Cowan, D-Naperville, calling him a “spectacular” choice to fill the seat.

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Rachel Ventura, who has served as a Will County Board member since December 2018, has also shared a congratulatory message to Gazanfer.

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With this appointment, Gazanfer has now joined a list of many American Muslims who have achieved political success in 2022.

Earlier this month, Maryam Khan of Windsor made history after becoming the first Muslim elected to Connecticut’s House of Representatives.

Nadia Kahf, a family law attorney from Wayne, could also become one of just a handful of Muslim women to serve as a state Superior Court judge in New Jersey.