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US Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wins Michigan Democratic primary

Rep. Rashida Tlaib won with 66 percent of the vote at the primary [Getty]

Date of publication: 6 August, 2020

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US Representative Rashida Tlaib, the first Palestinian American woman in Congress, is on her way to retaining her seat following a victory in the Democratic primary election.
US Representative Rashida Tlaib on Wednesday emerged victorious from the Democratic primary election in her home state of Michigan, continuing her political career as the first Palestinian American US congresswoman.

Tlaib, a member of the "squad" of four first-term congresswomen of colour who have drawn attention for their liberal views and distaste for President Donald Trump, scored a convincing victory over Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.

According to The New York Times, Tlaib had 66 percent of the vote to Jones' 34 percent with 90 percent of votes counted.

Jones had criticised Tlaib as being too divisive.

"The work continues," Tlaib tweeted following her victory. "Onward."

Upon her first election victory in 2018, Tlaib became one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, as she was sworn into the US House of Representatives on the same year as Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, another member of the "squad".

Tlaib has become well-known for her Palestinian advocacy inside Congress, showing up to this year's State of the Union in a traditional thobe and at one point being banned from entering Israel due to her activism.

She also campaigned for Trump's impeachment, at one point eliciting controversy when she spoke of impeaching "the motherf***er" to a crowd at an event in Washington, DC.

Tlaib, who has so far declined to endorse Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, was congratulated on her win by fellow progressives.

"More than ever, America needs your leadership to take on the greed and corruption of the economic establishment," tweeted Vermont Senator Benie Sanders.

Fellow "squad" members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on New York, Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Omar also celebrated Tlaib's victory.

Next week, Omar herself will face a challenge to her seat in Congress from a well-funded opponent, Antone Melton-Meaux.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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