In the recent Illinois and General Elections, Muslims across the United States not only cast their ballots more than ever before, but also ran for various positions of public office. Illustrating the tremendous civic participation of our community, voters mobilized locally, statewide, and nationally to say “our time and our vote.”
Rep. Keith Ellison won his bid for Minnesota attorney general. Ilhan Omar, a Somali American Muslim refugee was elected to the House of Representatives in Minnesota. From Michigan, Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian American Muslim, was elected to the House of Representatives. Omar and Tlaib are the first Muslim women to be elected to U.S. Congress. Andre Carson was also re-elected as House Representative for the 7th District in Indiana.
Locally, Abdelnasser Rashid ran for Cook County Commissioner in the 17th District while building a powerful grassroots campaign that was able to garner much of the Muslim vote. The votes came in narrowly short for Rashid but the Chicagoland Muslim community has been both captivated and invigorated by his campaign. In DuPage County, Sadia Covert, an attorney who has co-authored hate crimes legislation, ran for a seat with Board District 5 and was elected, along with Kane County’s Mohammad Iqbal who was elected to Kane County Board District 1. In addition, Muslim candidates were also visible on the ballots of a significant number of areas in greater Chicagoland.
The impact made by Muslims in the 2018 Midterm and Illinois Elections can be attributed to a heightened sense of civic responsibility as our great nation tackles enormous challenges affecting all people in our country as well as countries around the world.
Below is a list of Muslim candidates from the Midterm and Illinois General Elections and the positions they were either elected to or ran for:
- Keith Ellison, elected Minnesota Attorney General
- Ilhan Omar, elected to Minnesota House of Representatives, 5th Congressional District
- Rashida Tlaib, elected to Michigan House of Representatives, 13th Congressional District
- Andre Carson, elected to Indiana House of Representatives, 7th Congressional District
- Abdelnasser Rashid, ran for Cook County Commissioner 17th District
- Zahra Suratwala, ran for DuPage County Board Member District 1
- Hadiya Afzal, ran for DuPage County Board Member District 4
- Sadia Covert, elected DuPage County Board Member District 5
- Irfan M. Ibrahim, ran for DuPage County Forest Preserve Commissioner District 3
- Mohammad Iqbal, elected to Kane County Board District 1
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and does not endorse any candidates.
Photo: (L to R) Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, the first Muslim women elected to U.S. Congress