List of Wins and Losses for American Muslim Candidates in the 2018 Elections

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By: Khurram Zaman.

Key Highlights

  • 100 American Muslims filed as candidates for the 2018 elections
  • 50 made it to the primary
  • Total candidates identified: 31
  • 16 American Muslims won their races (as of 11/7/18 10am EST)
  • 12 races are waiting results or official confirmation
  • 3 losses

Notable Achievements

  • 1st Muslim woman elected to Congress: Rashida Tlaib
  • 2nd Muslim woman, 1st Hijabi elected to Congress, Ilhan Omar
  • 2 Refugees elected: Ilhan Omar, Safiya Wazir
  • 1st Muslim and 1st African American State Representative from Staten Island (NY): Charles Fall
  • 1st South Asian elected to Passaic City Council, NJ: Salim Patel

The whole world seems to be holding it’s breath while keenly watching the results of the 2018 U.S. mid-term elections. While many people are focusing on the control of Congress and big races, there are a lot of significant changes happening in lesser known races. One of those changes happens to be the significant number of Muslims that decided to run for office in spite of a climate of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment becoming commonplace in partisan politics.

Even before the general election, these races caught national media attention:

  • The blue Muslim wave: American Muslims launch political campaigns, hope to deliver ‘sweet justice’ to Trump” (The Washington Post, April 15, 2018)
  • Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash” (The Star Tribune, July 15, 2018)
  • Record number of Muslim Americans make bids for elected office” (The Christian Science Monitor, July 16, 2018)
  • Muslims run for office in record numbers but the path is uphill” (The Seattle Times, July 16, 2018)
  • “Muslim Americans Running For Office In Highest Numbers Since 2001” (NPR, July 18, 2018)

Given the rise in mass shootings, hate crimes, and anti-Muslim sentiment, the list of Muslims running for office was never publicly disclosed for security reasons. However, most news outlets reported about 80–100 Muslims had filed as candidates at the start of the election season with about 50 remaining through the primary season.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much media coverage about how many of these Muslim candidates won. Last night, I spent a few hours doing last second research, compiling a list of various Muslims running for office. I searched Google, twitter, and had the help of various friends, family, and civic groups who all shared information by word of mouth through WhatsApp and Facebook. The following list is an unofficial list of the results of various races involving American Muslims.

Please review and let me know if there is anything that needs to be added, removed, or edited. I’ve tried my best to confirm results through media or official candidate results but that was not always possible. Huge shout out to Shahed Amanullah and the fellows of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute for helping to compile this list.


Confirmed Wins (Organized chronologically)

  1. Rashida Tlaib: 1st Muslimah in Congress (MI) (Source: Vox Media)
  2. Ilhan Omar: 1st Hijabi, 2nd Muslimah, 1st Somali-American in Congress, (MN) (Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  3. Assad Akhter: Reelected Passaic County Freeholder (NJ) (Source: North Jersey)
  4. Salim Patel: 1st South Asian on Passaic City Council (NJ) (Source: Insider NJ)
  5. Haseeb Javed: Manassas Park City Council (VA) (Source: Prince William Times)
  6. Babur Lateef: Special Election for School Board (VA) (Source: Inside NOVA)
  7. Safiya Wazir: Former refugee from Afghanistan, State Rep (NH) (Source:Think Progress)
  8. Rabeea Collier: District Judge , 113th Judicial District (TX) (Source:Rabbea Collier Facebook)
  9. Mo Seifeldein: Alexandria City Council (VA) (Source: Alexandria Living)
  10. Keith Ellison: 1st American Muslim Attorney General (MN ) (Source: Star Tribune)
  11. Charles Fall: State Assembly, North Shore Assembly Seat, Staten Island (- Fall will become the first Muslim and the first African American to serve as a Staten Island representative in Albany. (NY) (Source: Staten Island Live)
  12. Robert Jackson: 1st Muslim in NY State Legislature, State Senate District 31 (NY) (Source: Patch)
  13. Abdullah Hammoud: Re-elected House of Representatives, District 15 (MI) (Source: MoveOn Twitter)
  14. Mujtaba Mohammed: State Senate District 38 (NC) (Source: Run for Something Twitter)
  15. Andre Carson: U.S. Representative, 7th District (IN) (Source: WRTV)
  16. Mohamed T Khairullah: Mayor of Prospect Park (NJ) (Source: Mohamed Khairullah Facebook)

Awaiting Results or Official Confirmation

  1. Halim Dhanidina, nonpartisan Division 3 judge of the California Second District Court of Appeal. He was appointed by gov brown and was up for election this year (CA)
  2. Farrah Khan (Irvine) (CA)
  3. Fauzia Siddiqui rizvi (corona) (CA)
  4. Ahmed Zahra (Fullerton) (CA)
  5. Ali Taj (Artesia) (CA)
  6. Ali Saleh (city of Bell) (CA)
  7. Abdelnasser Rashid, Cook County Commissioner, 17th District (IL)
  8. Shahabuddeen Ally
  9. Nasif Majeed
  10. Sabina Zafar, San Ramon City Council (CA)
  11. Sabina Taj, Board of Education, Howard County, MD
  12. Abbas Akhil, State Rep, District 20 (New Mexico)
  13. Aisha Wahab, Hayward City Council (CA)
  14. Javed Ellahie, Monte Sereno City Council (CA)
  15. Sabina Zafar, San Ramon City Council (CA)
  16. Maimona Afzal Berta, Franklin McKinley School Board (CA)
  17. Cheryl Sudduth, West County Wastewater District (CA)

Losses

  1. Omar Qudrat, US 52nd District (CA)
  2. Aisha Yaqoob, House District 97 (GA)
  3. Naveen Malik, District 31 (SD)