We look at the leadership Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has shown her constituents who helped her win by a landslide in Michigan’s primary election.
LANSING, MI — Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib advanced toward another term in the U.S. House of Representatives when she won Tuesday’s primary against Brenda Jones.
The race was declared earlier than most, with the incumbent winning more than 66% of the Democrat vote, according to MLive.
The Detroiter was painted in the press as the most vulnerable member of the “The Squad.” The informal name was given to a cohort of Congresswomen elected to office in 2016. Tlaib, along with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts make up the group.
Tlaib spoke directly to the discounting of her candidacy on social media.
“My community responded last night and said our Squad is big,” she wrote on her Twitter page. “It includes all who believe we must show up for each other and prioritize people over profits.”
Tlaib is one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, but it was her stance on the Trump presidency that garnered national attention for the Detroiter. Tlaib called for his impeachment when the President began using his social media platforms to bully, intimidate and spread harmful misinformation to the public. He later targeted her with racist tweets after the video went viral.
Tlaib credits her penchant for being an unapologetic fighter and progressive to her Palestinian and Detroit roots. She often jokes with supporters that her upbringing molded her into the politician and advocate she is.
As the oldest of 14 children, Tlaib learned at an early age that it takes both volume and persistence to get your voice heard in a crowd. Her Palestininan immigrant parents raised her and her siblings in a diverse Southwest Detroit neighborhood, part of the district she now represents in Congress.
The lawmaker is known for fiercely representing her Detroit district, often featured in viral videos on social media for her passionate speeches about equality and representation.
Much of the Michigander’s national advocacy comes from personal experience. She was the first in her family to attend college, later continuing on to law school. Most of her career before entering politics was spent in the nonprofit and social justice spheres.
Winning Tuesday’s primary is just one step toward a second Congressional term for Tlaib. She was able to best Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, but still faces Republican David Dudenhoeffer in November.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.