Politics & Policy

‘Squad’ Member Rashida Tlaib Claims Victory in Michigan Primary

Rep Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill, July 15, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Progressive “Squad” member Representative Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) has claimed victory over her establishment challenger in a primary race for her House seat.  

Tlaib beat out Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones, whom she narrowly defeated in a crowded primary in 2018 before first being elected to her seat. Tlaib’s 2018 election made her one of the first two Muslim women in Congress.

“Headlines said I was the most vulnerable member of the Squad,” Tlaib tweeted Wednesday. “My community responded last night and said our Squad is big. It includes all who believe we must show up for each other and prioritize people over profits. It’s here to stay, and it’s only getting bigger.”

Jones’ campaign had focused on criticizing Tlaib’s fondness for attention and controversial behavior, including booing Hillary Clinton at a Bernie Sanders campaign event and, on a separate occasion, calling the president an expletive in vows to impeach him. Jones’ platform had involved bringing the focus back to the people of Detroit. 

“As Michigan’s 13th Congressional District Representative, Tlaib has worked hard to become an international rock star,” Jones tweeted last month. “Representative Tlaib has a huge war chest of nearly $2 million. The money in Rashida Tlaib’s war chest is mostly from people around the world.”

“This means Tlaib is beholding (sic) to her money people, & not focused on the citizens of the 13th Congressional District,” she added.

David Dudenhoefer, the 13th Congressional District chairman, was leading in the Republican primary Wednesday morning with 87% of precincts reporting. 

Tlaib’s victory is another win for progressives, who saw fellow squad member Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) win against her primary challenger, CNBC personality Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, earlier this year. 

“From the Bronx to St. Louis, the Squad is here to stay, and it’s still growing,” Justice Democrats tweeted early Wednesday morning.

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