By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has defeated an establishment Democratic primary challenger, claiming victory Wednesday against Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.
Tlaib, a high profile lawmaker who is part of the progressive group of female lawmakers known as the "squad," thanked supporters in a statement posted to Twitter, but stressed "the work continues."
"Headlines said I was the most vulnerable member of the Squad," she said. "My community responded last night and said our Squad is big. It includes all who believe we must show up for each other and prioritize people over profits. It’s here to stay, and it’s only getting bigger."
Tlaib is one of the first two Muslim women elected to the US Congress.
She ran against Jones in Michigan's 13th district, which includes portions of Detroit, the state's most prominent urban center, and its suburbs. She secured 66% of the vote with 87% of precincts reporting, according to data from the Wayne County Clerk's office cited by the Detroit News newspaper.
Tlaib had secured strong fundraising and the endorsement of Senator Bernie Sanders, the progressive standard-bearer who energized liberals but failed to secure the Democratic nomination heading into November's nationwide polls.
"Congratulations @RashidaTlaib on your reelection victory! More than ever, America needs your leadership to take on the greed and corruption of the economic establishment," Sanders said on Twitter.
Tlaib will now face the victor of the Republican primary, but the seat is widely expected to stay in Democratic hands come November.
In addition to Tlaib, fellow progressive Pramila Jayapal is also expected to win her primary.