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Two Former Refugees Won Elections Last Night

Nov 08, 2017

Blog Post

Gabe Cahn, HIAS.org

Elections across the country on Tuesday, November 8 brought victories for many first-time public office holders.

In Montana and Virginia, it was also an historic election night for two candidates who came to the United States as refugees. Their winning campaigns represent the immense contributions of refugees who are welcomed to this country after fleeing violence and persecution.

The Huffington Post’s Willa Frej and Philip Lewis have a thorough recap of all the notable candidates who won office last night, including Mayor-elect Wilmot Collins in Helena and Delegate-elect Kathy Tran in Virginia’s 42nd district.

Collins, 54, defeated his opponent in a nonpartisan race and will become the first black mayor in Montana’s history. He arrived in Helena as a refugee 23 years ago after fleeing civil war in his home country of Liberia.