(MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (KMSP) - Congress now has its first Somali- American member and it’s Minnesota’s own Ilhan Omar.
She defeated Jennifer Zielinski Tuesday night to take the 5th District seat.
Today, her victory is having a big impact on many people not only from Muslims and the Somali community here in Minnesota, but for women.
It isn’t difficult to find people who are excited that Omar is about to be the first Somali-American representing them in the U.S. Congress.
The celebration began Tuesday night with Omar herself recognizing the significance of her move to the United States Congress.
“For in America, not only a country that welcomes refugees but also sends them to Washington,” Omar said.
“I was celebrating at home alone in my room dancing like this,” said Halima Ainte, an Omar supporter.
The party continued in her own community with smiles and excitement that Omar is heading to D.C.
“This is some achievement for Somali people,” Ainte added.
Omar easily winning the race to represent the Fifth District had a large impact on her Somali community and all Muslims.
“I’m a father of two daughters and that means a lot for them to see someone that looks like her that is a refugee an immigrant in Minnesota that could be trusted with such a seat,” said Abdi Bihi, an Omar supporter.
For others, it wasn’t just that she’s East African or Muslim, but that she’s an East African Muslim woman. For Amano Dube, that’s a sign of things to come.
“I really love to see women become leaders of the world,” Dube said. “It looks like peace is coming when I see so many other countries stepping up to bring women into leadership position. That means peace is coming.”