Tlaib wins Conyers’ seat; Congress to get 1st Muslim woman
By COREY WILLIAMS
DETROIT — Former Michigan state Rep. Rashida Tlaib has won the Democratic nomination to run unopposed for the House seat long held by former Rep. John Conyers, setting her up to become the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.
No Republicans or third-party candidates ran in Tuesday’s District 13 primary race, meaning Tlaib is set to win the seat in November’s election and begin serving a full two-year term in January. The special primary race to serve the last two months of Conyers’ term was still too close to call early this morning, with Tlaib and Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones were neck and neck. The winner of that race will also run unopposed in November’s election.
Tlaib, 42, served in the Michigan House from 2009 until 2014. She defeated five other candidates to win the nomination to run for a full term representing the heavily Democratic district, which covers much of Detroit and some of its suburbs.
The 89-year-old Conyers was first elected to the House in 1964. He stepped down in December citing health reasons, though several former female staffers had accused him of sexual harassment.
“This is a huge victory for the Arab and Muslim American communities — it’s also a huge victory for the city of Detroit,” said Sally Howell, director of the Center for Arab American Studies at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.