First Two Muslim Women Elected To US Congress As Democrats Take House

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In what’s been seen by many as a blow to Donald Trump’s presidency, the Democrats have regained the majority and therefore taken control in the House of Representatives.

As the final votes in the US mid-term elections are counted, the Democrats won key races for the House, winning (at the time of writing) 26 seats, and looking set to surpass the 218 needed to win back the chamber from the Republicans – for the first time in eight years.

Senior Democrat Nancy Pelosi said her party would use its new position for the country as a whole, saying Americans have ‘had enough of division’.

The Republicans, meanwhile, have played down the Democrats’ success, with White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders saying ‘Maybe you get a ripple, but I certainly don’t think that there’s a blue wave.’ While Trump himself tweeted the night was a ‘tremendous success’.

As the Democrats celebrate their success, two women who won their respective races in Minnesota and Michigan will be the first Muslim women to be voted into the House of the Representatives.

Democrats Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan have secured their seats in the House following successful campaigns in their regions.

Omar is also the first Somali-American member of the House. She came to the US more than 20 years ago as a refugee, reports CNN.

Tlaib became the first female Muslim member of Michigan’s state legislature more than 10 years ago. She’s been a vocal critic of Donald Trump, and was even arrested two years ago for disrupting one of his speeches in Detroit.

The high profile mid-term election, which has been called a referendum on Trump’s presidency, has produced a record number of female contenders and candidates. Congress is already at its most diverse, and last night’s results could make it even more so.

A number of states have also voted for their first female representatives. Ayanna Pressley will be Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman, while Marsha Blackburn will be Tennessee’s first female senator, and in Arizona, the first female candidate – either Republican Martha McSally or Democrat Kyrsten Sinema – will be elected.

Democrat Stacey Abrams was also in the running to become America’a first black female governor in Georgia, while Democrat Andrew Gillum was campaigning to become the first black governor of Florida, as MailOnline reports.

In another firsts, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to congress, while New Mexico’s Debra Haaland and Sharice Davids of Kansas, became the first Native American women in congress.

In Colorado, Jared Polis became the first gay governor in the US, according to the BBC.

As the final results are counted, it seems Democratic women have played a huge part in flipping traditional Republican areas. With new control in the House of Representatives, the Trump regime will see fresh rivalry and more challenges when it comes to passing legislature.

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.