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Rashida Tlaib wins 13th District primary race

Rashida Tlaib for Congress
via Twitter

Rashida Tlaib has declared victory in the 13th Congressional District race.

Tlaib faced off against five other Democrats in the primary that should be decisive in the heavily-Democratic district, where no Republicans are running for the U.S. House seat vacated by John Conyers.

In a tearful celebration around 3 a.m. Wednesday, Tlaib thanked her campaign team and her large Palestinian family, especially her grandmother, who she says taught her to fight back against bullies.

“I can tell you that she prepared me for the biggest bully, and that’s Donald Trump,” Tlaib said. “And I can tell you I’m pretty ready for it. I don’t know if he’s ready for me.”

Tlaib says she’ll do everything she can to fight what she calls Trump’s "un-American" agenda. She promised to never waver in her fight to expand civil rights protections, curtail corporate power, and never forget the people whose doors she knocked on during the campaign.

“Their voices are in me,” Tlaib said. “Every single door I touched, every single person I spoke to. Like, I will uplift you in so many ways, not only through service but fighting back, against every single oppressive, racist structure that needs to be dismantled, because you deserve better than what we have today in our country.”

Tlaib waited to declare victory until she was sure her late-night lead would hold up. With 95% of precincts reporting, she had a 33-29% lead over her nearest opponent, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.

Tlaib will become the first Muslim member of Congress elected from Michigan, and the first Muslim American woman ever elected to Congress.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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