Muslim and Arab People intention to develop their ranks in US Home | US & Canada
Although early voting is in full swing across much of the country, millions of Americans will go to their local polling stations on November 3rd to vote for the next President of the United States.
On election day, the composition of the US House of Representatives, in which the Democrats are currently defending their majority, is also at stake.
Democrats hold 232 seats in the 435-person house, Republicans have 197.
In 2018, the first two Muslim congressmen were elected: Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, and seven other congressmen claim to be of Arab descent. Some have served for multiple terms and are running for re-election; others are newcomers hoping to stir up their districts.
Here are some of the contestants and races to watch:
Republican Darrell Issa versus Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar
Two candidates with Arab-American roots are fighting for the currently vacant seat of the 50th Congressional District in California in the US House of Representatives: Republican Darrell Issa, a Lebanese American and once the richest member of Congress, and Democrat Ammar Campa-Najjar, who is a Palestinian has a father and a Mexican-American mother.
The San Diego area district lost its representative in January when Republican Duncan Hunter resigned after pleading guilty to misusing campaign funds.
Democratic Congress candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar speaks in federal court in San Diego. California [File: AP Photo/Gregory Bull]Issa, 66, is an ally of President Donald Trump. He retired two years ago after serving 18 years as a member of the House of Representatives. Now he’s trying to win one of the last Conservative counties in Southern California.
Campa-Najjar, 31, a public affairs officer led by former President Barack Obama, became the first Latin American to run for Congress in 2018 when he lost 3 percentage points to Hunter.
He sparked controversy among Democrats when he said during an October interview that he had not yet decided whether or not he would vote for Joe Biden. He then cast an early vote and shared a photo on his social media showing his ballot for Biden.
Voted for Biden today 🙂 pic.twitter.com/zMe6Ec1Lk7
– Ammar Campa-Najjar (@ACampaNajjar), October 13, 2020
Issa’s campaign currently leads Campa-Najjars with $ 6.5 million in total contributions, but that includes $ 4.2 million out of pocket.
Campa-Najjar, who has a small consulting firm, did not personally fund his campaign, which raised $ 4.8 million. This emerges from the report of his campaign, which was submitted to the Bundestag Election Commission in the third quarter.
Darrell Issa during a press conference in El Cajon, California when he announced his intention to run for Congress [AP Photo/Gregory Bull]
Democrat Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib, 44, born the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, won the US home election for the first time in 2018. She is the first Palestinian American in Congress to represent Michigan’s 13th District.
The oldest of 14 children, the former community attorney and activist, was born in Detroit, a diverse city with a sizeable Black, Latin American, Muslim, and Arab population.
Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib meets outside a post office in Old Redford, Michigan, USA, in support of the United States Postal Service (USPS) [Rebecca Cook/Reuters]She has advocated progressive causes such as minimum wage increases, universal health care, affordable tuition and environmental protection.
Tlaib will face Republican challenger David Dudenhoefer in the November elections.
Three other candidates are also in the running for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District election: D Etta Wilcoxon of the Green Party, Articia Bomer of the Michigan Taxpayers Party and Sam Johnson of the working class.
Your district is a democratic stronghold.
Earlier this year, Tlaib faced a challenge for her seat in the House of Representatives in a Democratic rematch with Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones. It lost 1 percentage point in 2018 when the primary field was larger. Tlaib won this year’s primary with 66.3 percent of the vote.
Tlaib, a vocal critic of Trump, who made her famous during a speech in Detroit in 2016, caused a stir when, shortly after taking office, she described the president as explosive and promised to indict him.
“We will prosecute the mother,” she said.
One of the most visible progressive Democrats in Congress, Tlaib is a member of the “squad” of four women in Congress first elected in 2018, including Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez from New York and Ayanna Pressley from Massachusetts.
US Representatives Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib hold a press conference in Washington, USA [File: Erin Scott/Reuters]Tlaib and the other members of the “Squad” are frequent targets of Trump during his rallies and in tweets.
“Why don’t they go back and help mend the utterly broken and crime-ridden places they came from,” he said last year in a tweet that was blasted as racist.
… And to viciously tell the people of the United States, the largest and most powerful nation in the world, how to run our government. Why don’t they go back and help mend the utterly broken and crime-ridden places they came from? Then come back and show us how …
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 14, 2019
Democrat Ilhan Omar
37-year-old Ilhan Omar fled the civil war in Somalia and spent four years of her childhood in a refugee camp in Kenya. She sought asylum in the United States in 1995 when she was eight and became an American citizen in 2000 at the age of 17.
She made history two years ago when she became the first Somali-American woman in the country to win a seat in a state parliament and, in the process, ousted an incumbent Democrat. She also became one of the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress.
US Representative Ilhan Omar introduces US Senator Bernie Sanders at a campaign rally in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA [File: Elizabeth Frantz/Reuters]She is expected to win again in November in the solidly Democratic 5th District of Minnesota.
Like Tlaib, Omar has campaigned for policies tied to the most progressive wing of the Democratic Party and is known as a member of the “squad” of four new Liberal women in Congress.
She won this year’s Democratic primary, defeating a well-funded rival Antone Melton-Meaux and several other challengers.
A fierce critic of Trump, especially regarding his immigration policies, she hit back the president after he belittled her during a campaign rally last month after he suggested she was not American.
“He’s not just a racist, he’s also a racist xenophobia. Because he’s not against immigration, he’s only against immigrants who look like me, ”Omar told CNN.
Ilhan Omar shares a punch with Rashida Tlaib as they arrive to attend a press conference by members of the US Congress in Washington, USA [File: Jim Bourg/Reuters]
Democrat Sima Ladjevardian
The democrat Sima Ladjevardian was born in Iran and immigrated to the USA as a child. She runs to represent the 2nd Congressional District of Texas.
She identifies herself as a “lawyer, mother of two, breast cancer survivor and political activist”.
Ladjevardian challenges US Representative Dan Crenshaw, a rising star in the Republican Party who won his seat in 2018. Crenshaw is a former Navy SEAL who served in Iraq and lost an eye in Afghanistan. He has far surpassed Ladjevardian in campaign funds.
Ladjevardian has since focused its campaign on criticizing Crenshaw’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, which he downplayed. She calls for increased access to affordable health care to address climate change and injustices in the US immigration system.
She was a key adviser to Beto O’Rourke in his attempt to defeat Republican Senator Ted Cruz for his seat in 2018 and was endorsed by former President Barack Obama.
Donna Shalala, of Lebanese descent, speaks to the media on Capitol Hill in Washington [File: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster]
Democrat Lulu Seikaly
Helane “Lulu” Seikaly is running for election to the US House to represent the 3rd Congressional District of Texas. As the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, she is a lawyer specializing in labor law.
Seikaly challenges first-time Republican Congressman Van Taylor, a businessman and veteran of the US Marine Corps Reserves, where he was stationed in Iraq.
She has campaigned for liberal, progressive causes such as universal health care, reproductive rights and affordable higher education in a district largely populated by affluent suburban voters. The district has also seen steady growth in immigrant communities, mostly Latinos, in recent years.
It remains to be seen what impact demographic change will have on the vote, as the district has been firmly represented by Republicans for more than 50 years. In the 2016 presidential election, Trump was almost 14 points ahead of candidate Hillary Clinton.
Charlie Crist, who claims Lebanese ancestry, speaks to supporters after conceding in the midterm elections in St. Petersburg, Florida [File: Scott Audette/Reuters]
Members of the US House of Representatives of Lebanese Descent
Some current members of the US House of Representatives are of Lebanese descent, although most have not made their legacy a large part of their political identity. Democratic US officials Donna Shalala, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Charlie Crist, all from Florida, as well as Republicans Darin LaHood from Illinois and Garret Graves and Ralph Abraham from Louisiana have grandparents or great-grandparents who emigrated from Lebanon.