First Muslim Woman Elected to Connecticut State House

Democrat Maryam Khan became the first Muslim woman elected to the Connecticut State House Tuesday after winning a special election to the 5th House District of Windsor and Hartford.

Khan won nearly 75 percent of the votes of 851 voters, with 8.7 percent turnout in the district. She defeated Charles W. Jackson (R) and Lawrence O. Jaggon, a petitioning candidate.

According to the Journal Inquirer (JI), upon winning the election, Khan tweeted, “Thank you, Windsor and Hartford, for believing in me. The victory is ours!”

Khan, a former special education teacher, told the JI she was ready to “jump right in and get to work, picking up where the previous Representative Brandon McGee left off, especially on issues in relation to education and housing.”

The representative-elect will take the seat in the State House vacated by McGee (D-Hartford), who resigned to become a political director for Governor Ned Lamont’s (D) re-election campaign, working with “underrepresented communities,” Fox 61 News reported in January.

Khan said she hopes more teachers run for office where they could be helpful in policymaking.

“It’s time that the state Capitol has people that have often been kept out — working-class people,” she said. “It’s important work, and I’m glad to do it.”

State House Speaker Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) said Wednesday Khan will be sworn into office on Monday, the Associated Press reported.

As CT Mirror observed, Khan, 33, currently serves as vice president of the Windsor Board of Election, and recently resigned from her position as a special education teacher at A.I. Prince Technical High School.

According to the news report, Khan said inequity in education was the focus of her election campaign.

“We’ve attended many vigils or funerals of students that have graduated but then have passed because of other things that they’ve gotten involved in, a lot of the violence that exists in our communities,” she said.

While campaigning, Khan spoke in January about the qualities she could bring to state government.

“As a woman, as a woman of color, as an immigrant, a teacher, young person, there’s a lot of diversity that I bring to the state legislature,” she said, reported NBC Connecticut.

She added she hoped her endorsement by the Democrat Party of Connecticut would set an example for other young Muslim women.

“At their age, I didn’t know what local politics was,” Khan, a mother of three children, said. “I didn’t know what people could do to be involved and I didn’t think that there would be room for me in a place like that. So, I’m happy that they’re able to have that and they’re able to see that, you know, you can be both Muslim and you can be, you know, part of your community.”

Khan added her “big concern” in schools is “if we are having teachers leave the field within their first couple years, or their first five years, what is school going to look like in the next 10,15, 20 years?”

Khan emigrated to the United States in 1994, as a child, from Pakistan.

She will be the first Muslim woman to serve in the Connecticut House of Representatives and second Muslim elected to the General Assembly after State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor), a pulmonologist.

CT Mirror noted that Muslims “are a small but growing community in Connecticut,” with more than 100,000 now residing in the state.

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Maryam Khan” by Maryam Khan. Background Photo “Connecticut Capitol” by Shah Ronak S. CC BY-SA 4.0.




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2 Thoughts to “First Muslim Woman Elected to Connecticut State House”

  1. Bill

    That’s great! Another terrorist. Maybe before long the whole democrat party will go muslim and we can have our own holy war in washington d.c. “Exciting news” if you’re brain dead idiots. Electing more enemies of our constitution and don’t have the sense to know any better.

  2. 83ragtop50

    Fitting choice for the socialist republic of Connecticut.