Former Kenyan Refugee, Ilhan Omar Wins in US Elections in Minnesota

Rashida Tlaib

Modal Trigger Rashida Tlaib AP

Rashida Tlaib has become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.

The 2018 USA 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.

Omar made history in 2016 when she was elected the first Somali-American legislator in the USA, for which she was featured in Firsts, TIME's multimedia project on trailblazing women have broken glass ceilings in their respective fields. "And that if you just believe, believe in the possibility of someone like me".

Tlaib is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and became the first Muslim female member of Michigan's state legislature a decade ago.

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She was joined shortly after on Tuesday night by Omar, who ran for the Democrats in Minnesota's fifth district. Along with being one of the first Muslim women in Congress, Omar is the first Somali-American elected to the post.

The 42-year-old Tlaib is a Palestinian-American.

Tlaib, who served in the Michigan House from 2009 until 2014, defeated five other candidates in the August primary election to win the nomination to run for a full term representing the heavily Democratic district, which covers much of Detroit and some of its suburbs.

Omar, 36, fled her homeland of Somalia at the age of eight and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp before immigrating with family to the United States.

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Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American elected to Congress.

During her her campaign she pledged to secure a $15 minimum wage, stopping cuts to welfare programmes, such as Medicare and Social Security, as well as preventing tax relief to large corporations.

While Omar campaigned on a similarly progressive platform, which calls for universal healthcare and tuition-free colleges.

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