Americas

In historic first, 2 Muslim women elected to Congress in 2018 U.S. midterms

American voters have made history by sending two Muslim women to Congress for the first time.

The 2018 U.S. midterms, widely billed as a referendum on the presidency of Donald Trump, saw voters make history by electing Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar on the Democratic ballots as part of the wave of opposition that saw huge numbers of women running for public office.

Tlaib won Michigan’s 13th district, running unopposed.

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

Tlaib’s win comes after the 2016 election of Trump spurred a record number of women to put their names on the ballot.

A total of 239 women were on the ballot for the midterms.

The vast majority, 187, of those were running as Democrats.

Fifty-two were Republicans.

For Tlaib, Tuesday’s election marks the second time she will have made history in recent years.

In 2008, she became the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan state legislature. She used that record of taking on corporate interests and defending local priorities as part of her campaign for election as a congressional representative.

Her parents were Palestinian immigrants from the West Bank and Jerusalem.

Omar, on the other hand, is a refugee from Somalia.

Ilhan Omar in an October file photo. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

She is not only the second Muslim women elected in Congress but also the first Somali-American.

She campaigned on a platform calling for free tuition and promising to fight to expand Medicare coverage to all Americans.

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