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U.S. primary elections

Who is Rashida Tlaib, the woman who won the Michigan Democratic primaries?

The 44-year-old beat Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones in the Michigan Democratic primaries but has not endorsed Joe Biden.

Michigan Democratic U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib addresses a rally protesting against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Detroit, Michigan, June 6, 2020.
Rebecca CookREUTERS

U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib, one of the most visible progressive Democrats in Congress, claimed victory Wednesday in the Democratic primary election against challenger Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones. Tlaib, one of the four members of “The Squad” alongside Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, took the contest by 63,650 votes to Jones' 32,582 with 89.9% of precincts reporting in the nomination contest.

Tlaib, 44, was born to Palestinian immigrants in Detroit and has been the U.S. Representative for Michigan's 13th congressional district since 2019 when she became one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, along with Omar. She has since sat on the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Tlaib has so far declined to endorse the party's presumptive nominee, former Vice President Joe Biden, for his November face-off with Republican President Donald Trump.

Tlaib: "Voters are done waiting for transformative change"

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Brittany GreesonAFP

"Voters sent a clear message that they're done waiting for transformative change, that they want an unapologetic fighter who will take on the status quo and win," Tlaib said in a statement.

The race for the district, which contains Detroit and some of its suburbs, had been a rematch of a close 2018 election that Jones lost by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Tlaib had a fundraising and polling edge over Jones going into the election. But Jones, 60, a prominent politician in the predominantly Black city of Detroit who has endorsed Biden, had the backing of numerous local leaders and the state's Democratic Black caucus.

The primary had been seen as a test of whether the Democratic contender for the House seat would stay with the more progressive side of the party or steer closer to its political center.


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