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Texas voters elect Muslim lawmakers in historic first

  • On Nov. 8, Democrats Salman Bhojani and Suleman Lalani became the first Muslim lawmakers to be elected to the Texas House. 

  • Bhojani defeated Republican Joe Livingston in Tarrant County with around 58 percent of the vote to represent House District 92, while Lalani won against Republican Dan Mathews in Fort Bend County with over 57 percent of the vote to represent House District 76.

  • Bhojani and Lalani are just two of the 38 American Muslims who won seats in state legislatures this election, according to the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations.

  • The newly elected representatives are set to join other Texas legislators at the beginning of the next legislative session, which starts on the second Tuesday of January next year.

Texas has elected its first Muslim lawmakers to the state legislature. 

Democrats Salman Bhojani and Suleman Lalani made history on Nov. 8 by becoming the first Muslim lawmakers elected to the Texas House.

Bhojani, a former Euless City Council member, defeated Republican Joe Livingston in Tarrant County with around 58 percent of the vote to represent House District 92. The 42-year-old Pakistani American lawmaker is also the first person of color to represent the district, which is currently represented by Republican Jeff Cason. 

Originally from Pakistan, Bhojani’s family immigrated to Texas when he was 17 years old. 

After settling in Carrollton, he became a naturalized citizen, earned a Business Administration degree from the University of Texas and became an entrepreneur. He later earned a law degree from Southern Methodist University and a Comparative Law Diploma from Oxford University.

In 2017, he launched the law firm Bhojani & Nelson in Irving to serve Muslim and South Asian business owners in the area.

Lalani, a former internal medicine physician, defeated Republican Dan Mathews in Fort Bend County with over 57 percent of the vote to represent House District 76.

He immigrated from Pakistan to the U.S. in the 1990s to pursue a medical career. According to his official bio, Lalani completed his fellowship training at Baylor College of Medicine and attended courses at Harvard Medical School and Columbia University College of Physicians. He has been triple board-certified in internal medicine, geriatric medicine and hospice and palliative medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Bhojani and Lalani are just two of the 38 American Muslims who won seats in state legislatures this election, according to the nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations.

They are set to join other Texas legislators at the beginning of the next legislative session, which starts on the second Tuesday of January next year. 

 

Featured Image via Salman Bhojani, Mothers Against GregAbbott

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