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Democrat Rashida Tlaib was elected to represent Michigan's 13th House District on Tuesday, defeating three other candidates, including a write-in campaign by Detroit's City Council president, Brenda Jones.

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. In 2016, she was elected a Democratic Party member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, making her the first Somali-American legislator elected to a public office in the United States.

Omar will take the seat vacated by Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. Ellison is leaving Congress as he vies to become Minnesota attorney general.

The Palestinian-American won the Democrat primary for the seat in August with around a third of the total vote share.

Tlaib, Omar join other women of colour who won big on Tuesday night; Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley became the first black congresswoman in MA.

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The Palestinian-American made history in 2008 by winning a seat on the Michigan Legislature, becoming the first Muslim woman to achieve this. After the start of the civil war in 1991, she and her family fled Somalia and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya.

In August, she emerged as the victor of a Democratic primary for a seat vacated by John Conyers, a longtime liberal lion who stepped down in December amid sexual harassment allegations and failing health. Tlaib favors a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has opposed United States aid to Israel.

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

She is also openly lesbian, in a state that is traditionally conservative. She could not speak English and only learnt by watching television.


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