Indian American Ghazala Hashmi becomes first Muslim woman elected to Virginia State Senate

Democrat Hashmi unseated Repubulican Glen Sturtevant on Tuesday.


Showcasing an ever-increasing Indian American participation in the country’s political system was the stunning victory of Democrat Ghazala Hashmi, over sitting Virginia state Senator Republican Glen Sturtevant in Tuesday’s election.

Hashmi’s Nov 5 election was also an important win for the Indian community as she becomes the first Muslim woman in the state Senate.

Hashmi will be representing Virginia’s 10th Senate district. The race was one of the most watched contests in the state as the Democrats were looking to flip the Senate by cutting the narrow 20-19 Republican edge.

Her impressive win in her first ever campaign for a public office shows that Hashmi may have struck the right note with the voters. Hashmi feels strongly about gun violence in the country and actively campaigned against it.

Hashmi dedicated her win to her supporters with a tweet saying it belonged to all those who believed in the need for “progressive change in Virginia.”

“This victory, is not mine alone. It belongs to all of you who believed that we needed to make progressive change here in Virginia, for all of you who felt that you haven’t had a voice and believed in me to be yours in the General Assembly,” she wrote.

Hashmi, a former community college professor, feels strongly about education and supported Democratic Governor Ralph Northam’s universal pre-kindergarten proposals during the campaign.

In another tweet, she also admired the state’s willingness to make the change. “Today we sent a message that the status quo is no longer accepted,” she wrote. “Thank you all for your support and passion in helping me become the next state Senator for Virginia’s 10th District! I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of the change to come for Virginia.”

Hashmi also reached out to her voters through the social media to inform them about the causes that she would be undertaking.

“After flipping the Senate, I’ll have Democrats by my side to fight to protect Virginians from the climate crisis and senseless gun violence, and work to expand our access to affordable health care and funding for public education,” she wrote. “Ican’t wait to work together in the state Senate.”

Hashmi emigrated to the US from India as a child with her family. She is also a former director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning at Reynolds Community College.

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