Midterm Elections Results for Arab Americans
By: Arab America Contributing Writer / Carrie Stewart
As many of you likely know, last week was the 2022 mid-term elections in the U.S. Millions of Americans went to vote and watched as the results came in, waiting to find out which party would take control of the Senate and which party would take control of the House of Representatives. The following article will outline six Arab Americans who have won a seat in their respective offices.
1. Abdelnasser Rashid
Rashid (Democrat) is a Palestinian Muslim with a degree from Harvard and the University of Chicago. With 65 percent of the vote in Illinois in this past election, he is actually the third Arab American to win legislative office in the state. He will be representing the 21st Illinois House District, assuming office on January 11th, 2023.
Rashid told Arab News: “I am humbled and privileged to have the trust of the voters of the 21st District, who are sending me to Springfield to be a voice for working and middle-class families. I am also honored that Arab Americans throughout Illinois will have a voice in Springfield — someone who understands the community and who will fight for them.”
According to his website, he will “prioritize the interests of working families, not corporate special interests. He will fight to root out corruption, fund public education, and work to fix the broken property tax system that punishes working families while giving huge corporations major tax cuts.”
2. Iman Jodeh
Jodeh ran as a progressive Democrat in Colorado for House District 41 and won. Her goal is to “make sure everyone has a fair shot at the American dream.” She is the “first Muslim lawmaker in Colorado’s history.” In this recent midterm election, she beat the Republican candidate Stephanie Hancock with 63.9% of votes.
She grew up in Colorado but her parents are from Palestine. On her website, she says the reason she wants to serve is that “the more I have helped address people’s needs, the more I’ve realized how mythical the American Dream is for so many of us due to the connections between discrimination, oppression, and policy. The more I’ve studied policy and worked with our legislators and other advocacy and community groups to pass policy that will help people in their daily lives, the more I’ve seen the need for dedicated public servants who will work ceaselessly to make sure our government is doing all it can to help make realizing the American Dream a possibility for everyone.”
3. Abraham Aiyash
As of right now, Aiyash (a member of the Democratic Socialists of America) is a part of the Michigan house of representatives, representing the 4th District (he has been in this spot since December 2020). This includes Hamtramck and surrounding parts of Detroit. He is the son of Yemeni immigrants. In this recent election, he was selected for House Majority Floor Leader. When he starts serving next term he will be the highest-ranking Muslim in Michigan legislative history.
According to his website, “as a legislator, he hopes to redefine the role of elected officials as he champions solutions on the state level that address social and health disparities in poor and working-class communities. He plans to translate his community organizing experience into legislation as he works alongside community activists to ensure their voices are heard in the creation of state policies.”
4. Rashida Tlaib
Tlaib was born in Detroit to two Palestinian Immigrants. She is the youngest of 14. Tlaib was the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan House of Representatives and one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. This year, she received 70.3% percent of votes, defeating Republican candidate Steven Elliot in District 12 in Michigan.
Tlaib (Democratic Party) supports abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the police, and prisons. She also has criticized the Trump administration and advocated for his impeachment. Additionally, she called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel as a critic of the Israeli government.
5. Ilhan Omar
Omar was born in Mogadishu, Somalia, and was the youngest of 7. She came to New York in 1995. She has been “serving as the U.S. representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019.” She is a member of the democratic-farmer-labor party. Omar is the “first Somali American in the United States Congress”, as well as the “first woman of color to represent Minnesota.” In this election, she won with 75.2% of the votes for district 5.
She has “advocated for a $15 minimum wage, universal healthcare, student loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).” She also supports the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a critic of Isreal.
Unfortunately, she has received death threats, and harassment from opponents and has been the victim of false claims from Donald Trump.
6. Ruwa Rumman
Romman is a Palestinian–American. This year she became the first Muslim woman to be elected to the Georgia State House of Representatives.
She was born in Jordan, moving to the United States at the age of 7.
On May 24, 2022, she won the Democratic primary. On November 8, 2022, Romman won the general election for Georgia House District 97.
According to her website, she is looking to “fully fund education, bridge the economic opportunity gap, expand healthcare access, and protect voting rights.”
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