PHILADELPHIA – Movita Johnson-Harrell made history on Tuesday night, March 12, after winning the contested special election for the 190th District seat, becoming the first Muslim woman to be elected as a state representative in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Magazine reported.
“I’m running because I care about my community — I don’t need a job,” Johnson-Harrell told Philadelphia magazine in January when she declared her run.
“Many people enter politics looking for a career, money, power, fame — I’ll be personally taking a $20,000 pay cut if I become the next state representative.”
Johnson-Harrell is the former interim supervisor of Victim Services for Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s Office.
On Tuesday night, she secured more than 66 percent of the vote, with her nearest challenger at 20 percent.
The West Philly native ran on a platform encompassing key issues such as socioeconomic opportunity and education reform to gun violence prevention.
Johnson-Harrell defeated community advocate Amen Brown, activist and clergywoman Pamela K. Williams, and Republican candidate Michael Harvey.
“I am grateful that the Democratic party has put their trust in me,” Johnson-Harrell previously told Philadelphia magazine.
“I think I can get a lot done in Harrisburg.”
The year 2019 brought many good news to American Muslims.
In January, Fadwa Hammoud was appointed by Attorney General Dana Nessel, becoming the first ever Muslim Solicitor General in the history of the US.
Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota were both elected as the first Muslim congresswomen.
Other Muslim winners included Assad Akhter who easily defeated Republican Lori Mambelli and was re-elected Passaic County Freeholder, NJ.
Salim Patel, who was initially appointed to the Council following the death of Zaida Polanco in September of this year, confirmed his position with an overwhelming vote total.
Democrat Safiya Wazir, 27, a mother of two who escaped Afghanistan as a child, defeated Republican Dennis Soucy for a seat in New Hampshire House of Representatives.