Muslim candidates again make history in 2020

Muslim candidates again make history in 2020

Muslim candidates again make history in 2020

A record 110 candidates who identify as Muslim were on ballots across the 24 states on November 3rd with more than half projected to win

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 11/6/20) — Jetpac, a representation-driven organization that trains American Muslims who want to run for office, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, and MPower Change, the largest Muslim-led social and racial justice organization in the United States, today announced their preliminary snapshot of candidates who publicly identify as Muslim in the 2020 election cycle.

One hundred and ten candidates were on 2020 general election ballots across 24 states and Washington D.C., which is the highest number since the 3 organizations started mapping the electoral progress of politicians who identify as Muslim.

“Muslim Americans are celebrating the election of members of our community across this country – from the school boards to the halls of Congress,” said Linda Sarsour, Executive Director of MPower Change. “No matter what happens on the presidential level, we will continue to build power, engage voters and focus on down ballot races because that’s where the real impact on our lives lies.”

“Increasing our political representation is a critical part of defeating the violent rise of Islamophobia here and around the world because it forces elected officials and the media to include our perspective in the narrative on healthcare, the economy, criminal legal system, and every other issue impacting American life,” said Mohammed Missouri, Executive Director of Jetpac. “I’m inspired by this new generation of Muslim political activists who are changing our community’s civic engagement through effective relational organizing to build diverse coalitions in the fight for economic and racial justice.”

“The American Muslims who ran for office and won were able to do so by building diverse coalitions that seek a just future in which every American’s civil rights are protected,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Over the past several years, Muslim Americans have had to fight against the threat of exclusion. We now have a historic opportunity to fight for inclusion while advancing policies that promote freedom and justice.”

Fifty-seven of the one hundred and ten candidates on November 3, 2020 ballots won or are projected to win their elections. At least eight made representation history.

  • Nida Allam officially became the first Muslim women elected to any office in North Carolina when she won her race for Durham County Commission.
  • In Delaware, Madinah Wilson-Anton will be the first practicing Muslim lawmaker to serve in the state’s General Assembly and the first Muslim to hold the local state House seat when she is inaugurated as the State Representative for the 26th District.
  • In Wisconsin, Samba Baldeh became first Muslim elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, and the first Black man to represent Dane County in the legislature.
  • Christopher Benjamin won the race to represent the 107th District in the Florida House of Representatives, becoming the first Muslim American elected to any state office in the Sunshine State.
  • Nafisa Fai became the first Muslim and first Black commissioner in Washington County history when she won her race to represent District 1 in Oregon.
  • Iman Jodeh, the State Representative-elect for the 41st District in the Colorado House of Representatives, will be the first Muslim lawmaker in the state’s history.
  • Fady Qaddoura became the first Muslim to win an election to the Indiana State Legislature when he won the race for the 30th District in the State Senate.
  • Mauree Turner, the State Representative-elect for the Oklahoma 88th District, will be the first Muslim lawmaker elected to the state’s legislature.

Below is a preliminary summary of Muslim electoral results from November 3, 2020:

  • 18 ran in California, 16 in Michigan, 14 in Minnesota, and 18 in New Jersey.
  • 8 were on the ballot for U.S. House of Representatives in 7 states, including incumbents Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Andre Carson who all won reelection. Mike Siegel lost a close race to represent the 10th Congressional District in Texas.
  • 29 ran for municipal seats in 6 states with 12 declared winners or are projected to win.
  • 29 ran for state legislature seats in 18 states with 20 winning.
  • 9 ran for county seats in 8 states; 6 won.
    28 ran for school committee or board positions in 5 states with 12 winning.
  • 5 ran for judiciary positions with 4 winning.

Jetpac, CAIR, and MPower plan to release a list of all 2020 local, primary, and general election candidates who publicly identify as Muslim after general election results have been certified. Some one hundred and seventy candidates who publicly identify as Muslim ran in all of 2020, which is almost thirty more than the previous high of one hundred and thirty-four candidates running in 2018. 

Jetpac is a representation-driven civic engagement organization. Its mission is to make our government more representative of the American people.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.        

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.     


See: Full General Election List (preliminary results)


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