Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Ilhan Omar: Former refugee is elected as America's first Somali-American Muslim woman legislator

Ms Omar fled war-torn Somalia as a child

Olivia Blair
Wednesday 09 November 2016 07:55 GMT

Those feeling bitterly disappointed at learning 2016 would not be the year a woman become President for the first time may find some comfort in the results of one election which went largely under the radar on Tuesday.

Hillary Clinton supporters become increasingly despairing overnight as Donald Trump scooped swing states including Florida and Ohio.

But one woman who did make history was Ilhan Omar, who became America’s first Somalian-American Muslim woman legislator on Tuesday night.

The 34-year-old former refugee was standing in District 60B in Minneapolis and claimed victory in the Minnesota House race.

Ms Omar arrived in the United States aged 12 after fleeing the civil war which ravaged her home country of Somalia. After initially arriving in Somalia, she spent four years at a Kenyan refugee camp, reports The Star Tribune.

“I am so proud of this win because District 60B represents Minnesota at its finest," Ms Omar said. "My neighbours and everyone here in this room, represents what we as a nation want to be: United in our diversity. Long time residents, East African immigrants and students – we came together and engaged in the political progress. We talked about the issues that concern us and we connected on the future we want to create.

“Tonight, we are celebrating this win, our win. But our work won’t stop. We will continue to build a more prosperous and equitable district – state and nation – where each and every one of us has opportunities to thrive and move forward together.”

Minnesota has voted Democrat since 1972 but had its margin held by President Obama reduced in 2012.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in