(SEATTLE, WA, 11/7/19) – CAIR Washington, the Washington state chapter of the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today reported that Washington has elected two Muslims and that a total of 25 Muslim candidates nationwide won in Tuesday’s election.

Zahra Roach won her race for Pasco’s City Council and is the first Muslim woman in Washington state to be elected and the first Muslim in Eastern Washington to win an election.

“I did not run to be the first of anything,” said Roach. “I ran because I am passionate about service to my community. But I’m honored to be the first Muslim woman elected to office in Washington state. Pasco and the Tri-Cities are home to diverse communities and I am proud to represent them. Voters sent a clear message that regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity, Pasco is an inclusive, welcoming city.”

Masih Fouladi, CAIR Washington’s Executive Director, said the victories are a sign of progress in Washington and across the nation:

“We are thrilled to see the growing number of Muslims, people of color, and women running and being elected to office,” said Fouladi. “We had a record number of Muslims run in Washington state and are excited about the prospect of these two newly elected officials. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib are examples of grassroots organizers who ran successful campaigns uplifting the voices of their diverse constituents. We are excited to see a growing number of Muslim politicians in Washington working to amplify the voices of those who’ve been historically overlooked.”

CAIR Washington has identified at least 33 Muslim candidates who won elections in local and statewide races across the country in 2019. More than 70 Muslims ran for office this year at the local and state level.
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.  

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

*CAIR Washington will continue to monitor election results and provide a final list of successful Muslim candidates in Washington State when results become final later this month. CAIR Washington is a 501(c)3 and does not endorse or oppose candidates for election.

**Zahra Roach is the first known Muslim woman to be elected to an office in Washington state. Zak Idan who ran for Tukwila City council in 2017 is the first known Muslim (and Somali) to be elected to an office. Amina Ahmed who tragically died in a car crash last year was the first known Muslim woman to hold an office when she was appointed to the SeaTac City Council in 2018.

MEDIA CONTACT: Jessica Schreindl, CAIR Washington Communications Coordinator, jschreindl@cair.com 206.367.4081