News » Politics » Indian American Democrat Sameena Mustafa loses Illinois 5th District Primary

Indian American Democrat Sameena Mustafa loses Illinois 5th District Primary

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Mustafa speaking at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

Sameena Mustafa, an Indian American democrat who challenged incumbent Mike Quigley in the 5th Congressional District of Illinois, was defeated in the Democratic primary election held on Tuesday.

Mustafa finished second in the primary getting 23.87 percent votes against Quigley’s 62.3 percent, thus eliminating her chances to become the first Indian American Muslim representative in the Congress.

Besides Mustafa, two other Democrats — Benjamin Thomas Wolf (9.66 percent) and Steve Schwartzberg (4.05 percent) — challenged Quigley, who’s held that office for nearly a decade.

Mustafa is a real estate broker working with nonprofits and small businesses. She was also active in the city’s comedy scene. In 2015 she cofounded Simmer Brown, a South Asian comedy collective.

She is graduate of Northwestern University.

She was born in Evanston, IL, to Indian Muslim immigrant parents and grew up in the Edgebrook neighborhood of Chicago and has been living in the 5th Congressional District for about 30 years.

“We will work with Congressman Quigley and keep him accountable on the issues where we need bolder leadership because this campaign was never about me. It has always been about the people of the 5th,” Mustafa tweeted after the election results were announced.

“While on this journey, we have witnessed up close the ways in which our system is broken, and even corrupt. But more importantly, we have witnessed the power we have to change it. It starts with people like us, and we are only getting started,” she added in the thread.

Thanking her supporters, Mustafa tweeted, “I remain humbled and honored that you — this diverse, committed and passionate group — chose this campaign to channel that energy.”

Mustafa also confirmed that she has sent a congratulatory note to Mike Quigley with the hope of working “together to ensure that the people of the 5th District have the leadership they deserve.”

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