Palestinian American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib wins decisive grassroots primary
Palestinian American Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib and her supporters are celebrating her decisive victory in Michigan’s Democratic primary Tuesday night.
Early Wednesday morning, the Associated Press called the race for Tlaib, who was the clear winner with around 65 percent of the vote, with Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey, following in a distant second with 20 percent of the vote, followed by two other challengers.
Tlaib is favoured to win against Republican Steven Ellis when the two face off in November, as Michigan’s 12th district is considered a Democratic stronghold.
Throughout Tlaib's campaign, she maintained her progressive messaging, without changing under the pressure of competition.
Earlier this year, it looked as if Tlaib would have a tough race on her hands, with the establishment of the Urban Empowerment Action PAC, a group that purports to support African American candidates, though its biggest donor is Daniel Loeb, a Republican who also donates to AIPAC.
Its website, which appears to now have only a basic homepage, noted until recently that its premier race it was focusing on was that of Tlaib, and it would be chanelling around $1 million toward defeating her.
But fortunately for Tlaib's campaign, the PAC did not gain much traction, possibly due to the widespread media coverage of its corporate leanings, a fundraising strategy that Tlaib, like many progressives, rejects.
Moreover, as an incumbent running in a district that stayed largely intact following last year's redistricting due to the 2020 census, she had the advantage of her constituents knowing her work.
Several months ago, AIPAC appeared to change its strategy when it switched its main target in Michigan from Tlaib to other progressive congress member Andy Levin, possibly seeing him as more vulnerable as he was running against a fellow incumbent in a newly redrawn district. Though Tlaib enjoyed a decisive victory, Levin's loss on the same day was considered a major blow to the progressive movement.