Rashida Tlaib is first Muslim woman elected to U.S. Congress

A Muslim woman from Detroit has won the congressional seat long held by Democratic Rep. John Conyers, who stepped down amid sexual harassment claims by former staffers. 

Democrat Rashida Tlaib was elected to represent Michigan's 13th House District on Tuesday, defeating three other candidates, including a write-in campaign by Detroit's City Council president, Brenda Jones. 

No Republicans were on the ballot in the heavily Democratic district, which represents parts of Detroit and some suburbs. 

The 42-year-old Tlaib is a Palestinian-American. Ilhan Omar, a Somali-American Democrat running for the House in Minnesota, could join Tlaib in Congress. 

Democratic Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison was the first Muslim elected to Congress. He was running Tuesday to be Minnesota attorney general. 

On Oct. 29, Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones launched a write-in campaign just a week before the election, running as an independent candidate. 

Jones won the Democratic primary special election to finish the rest of Conyers' term, but lost the race for the 13th District full two-year term by about 900 votes. Tlaib won that race.

If Jones wins the special election, which she is expected to because there are no Republicans running against her, she will only serve about 7 weeks in Congress. That may force her to resign from Detroit City Council to do so.

Also running for the 13th District seat was D. Etta Wilcoxon for the Green Party and Sam Wilson for the Working Class Party.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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