Rashida Tlaib Declares Victory in Michigan Congressional Primary Election
By: Laila Shadid/Arab America Contributing Writer
Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is back for a second term with nearly 66 percent of the vote for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District.
“Thank you to every neighbor, community member, voter, volunteer, door-knocker, friend, staff, and family member. Thank you for believing in me and my team as we serve you. Thank you for showing up for each other and for this movement. The work continues. Onward.”
Thank you to every neighbor, community member, voter, volunteer, door-knocker, friend, staff, and family member. Thank you for believing in me and my team as we serve you. Thank you for showing up for each other and for this movement.
The work continues. Onward.
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) August 5, 2020
Desk HQ, a leading aggregator of election results reported Tlaib as a winner.
Palestinian-American icon and “Squad” member Tlaib ran in a tough primary race against former Rep. Brenda Jones (D-MI).
In a post-election Facebook live stream, Tlaib said that despite unconfirmed results, she is “confident.”
“My father had a fourth-grade education, my mother eighth-grade,” Tlaib said, “and to see their daughter, a daughter of Palestinian immigrants, to be able to serve these incredible people, the community that raised me, and the United States Congress is truly an honor.”
Tlaib was elected in 2018 to serve as the Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district, the same elections which put co-“Squad” members Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) into power.
Omar and Tlaib are the first Muslim women to serve in Congress and openly advocate for Palestinian human rights on a national stage.
In 2018, Jones barely defeated Tlaib in a special election to replace Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-MI) who served for 52 years before facing a sexual harassment scandal which led to his resignation. Later that year in the primary election, Tlaib beat Jones by only 900 votes. Conyers passed away in October of the following year.
Yesterday, Tlaib and Jones faced off again in this long-anticipated election.
Recently, Tlaib has faced criticism for prioritizing national over local issues.
According to The Hill: “Jones’s campaign has hit Tlaib for being too Washington-focused, pointing to a number of public verbal conflicts playing out between her and President Trump, who has often gone after the squad members.”
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Headlines said I was the most vulnerable member of the Squad. My community responded last night and said our Squad is big. It includes all who believe we must show up for each other and prioritize people over profits. It’s here to stay, and it’s only getting bigger. Thank you to every neighbor, community member, voter, volunteer, door-knocker, friend, staff, and family member. Thank you for believing in me and my team as we serve you. Thank you for showing up for each other and for this movement. The work continues. Onward.
Moreover, the Detroit-area district has a large Black community that is connected with former Rep. Jones.
“It’s a majority African American city,” Michigan-based Democratic strategist Adrian Hemond said in The Hill. “It’s a majority African American congressional district, and to the extent that those voters are interested in symbolic representation, that’s not Rep. Tlaib.”
However, Arab American poll worker in Dearborn Heights, Ali Dagher, said that the African American community “came out strong and supported” Tlaib in the election.
“I am confident that she in fact did crush it,” he said. “I was particularly awed by the number of African American women who all told me that she speaks for them.”
Tlaib also received a glowing endorsement from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) shortly before the election, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
“Representative Rashida Tlaib is a tireless advocate for the residents of Michigan’s 13th Congressional District,” Pelosi said. “Rep. Tlaib never stops fighting for her district, which she is proud to represent. And I am proud to endorse her for reelection.”
Tlaib is a Detroit native, dedicated activist, and celebrated congresswoman.
We, Arab America, are so proud of you, Rashida, for genuinely serving the people in your District and all the people in this country!
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