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This progressive Muslim woman could make history in Virginia's state Senate primary race

Added 06-11-19 08:59:02am EST - “Yasmine Taeb, the first Muslim woman to be elected to the Democratic National Committee, is state Sen. Dick Saslaw's first primary challenger in 40 years.” - Thinkprogress.org


Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Thinkprogress.org: “This progressive Muslim woman could make history in Virginia’s state Senate primary race”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

Democrat Richard Saslaw has represented Virginia’s 35th district in the state Senate for nearly 40 years, without ever facing a primary fight. For the past several months however, he’s been feeling the heat from progressive challenger Yasmine Taeb, who could deliver an upset victory in Tuesday’s primary election.

Taeb, a human rights attorney and the first Muslim woman to be elected to the Democratic National Committee, is one of many progressive Democrats across the country who have aimed in recent months to push the party further to the left. The goal feels especially pressing in Virginia. Progressive organizers there have been working to rid the state of longtime Democratic incumbents like Saslaw, who would likely stand in the way of left-leaning legislation as the party is poised to take control of the General Assembly in November. All 140 seats in the legislature are up for election in the fall. Currently, Republicans hold razor-thin majorities in the House, at 51-48, and the Senate, at 20-19.

Tuesday’s race could also serve as a referendum on Virginia’s Democratic establishment, which has been mired in controversy over the past several months — first with Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook blackface scandal, and then with allegations of sexual abuse against Lieutenant Gov. Justin Fairfax. Taeb spoke out strongly against Northam and Fairfax, calling on both to step down.

Saslaw, on the other hand, was Gov. Northam’s sole Democratic defender. When it came to Fairfax, Saslaw opposed efforts to impeach the lieutenant governor, explaining that “Impeachment implies high crimes and misdemeanors while you are in office, that’s what it’s for.”

“Our district is the most Democratic, the most progressive district in the entire state,” Taeb told ThinkProgress in February. “It’s been represented by the same person for the last 40 years, who is completely out of touch with his own constituents.”


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