In a political first, a Muslim has been elected to serve in the U.S. Congress.
Keith Ellison, a Minnesota state legislator and lawyer, reached the political milestone by defeating two other candidates in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, which covers the Minneapolis area.
His victory was part of the Democratic wave that seized control of the House of Representatives from the Republicans.
Ellison won 56 percent of the vote, defeating Republican Alan Fine and the Independence Party’s Tammy Lee, both of whom garnered 21 percent of the vote. A Green Party candidate received 2 percent.
With 99 percent of the precincts reporting, Ellison received 135,519 votes, Fine 51,896, and Lee, 51,250.
Ellison is also the first African-American from Minnesota to be elected to the U.S. House. He ran on the Democratic-Farmer-Labor ticket in a district that is heavily liberal.
Members of that party, a uniquely Minnesotan movement, describe the DFL as the state chapter of the Democratic Party.
Ellison’s views reflect Democratic ideals and discontent.