Madinah Wilson-Anton, a 26-year-old progressive and former legislative aide, has defeated longtime state Rep. John Viola (D) in the Democratic primary in Delaware, bringing her one step closer to becoming the first practicing Muslim lawmaker to serve in the state’s General Assembly.
According to election results certified by the state officials over the weekend, Wilson-Anton secured the Democratic nomination after clinching nearly 43 percent of the vote at the ballot box last week. Viola, 70, came in a close second in the race with a little more than 41 percent of the vote.
Wilson-Anton acknowledged the close race in tweet last Wednesday afternoon after unofficial election results showed her narrowly winning against Viola, who has served as state representative in the 26th District for more than two decades.
“We won by 43 votes. 43 VOTES! Every. Single. Vote. Matters. THANK YOU! I am humbled by the trust that the voters have placed in me. Now, it’s time to win in November and get to work implementing our people-powered agenda. I’m proud to be on the side of the people,” she tweeted at the time.
We won by 43 votes. 43 VOTES! Every. Single. Vote. Matters. THANK YOU! I am humbled by the trust that the voters have placed in me. Now, it’s time to win in November and get to work implementing our people-powered agenda. I’m proud to be on the side of the people ✊ pic.twitter.com/bvxtqH5PL1— Madinah Wilson-Anton (@MadinahForDE) September 16, 2020
According to The Associated Press, Wilson-Anton’s campaign was backed by Progressive Democrats for Delaware, a group that also endorsed a few other local candidates this week that ousted Democratic incumbents.
Those other candidates include Marie Pinkney, a social worker who reportedly ran a progressive-leaning campaign that defeated state Senate President Pro Tem David McBride (D) in the state primary, and progressive Democrat Eric Morrison, who beat out state Rep. Earl Jaques (D) in the primary last week.
Wilson-Anton took to Twitter last week to congratulate her fellow Democrats on winning their primary races in Delaware and to urge her followers to donate to their campaigns as they gear up for the general election later this year.
Wilson-Anton was raised in the state’s 26th District, where she later served as a legislative aide after graduating from the University of Delaware. She vowed to push for public school funding, criminal justice reform and affordable health care on Twitter last week.
The progressive Democrat is set to face off against Republican Timothy Conrad in the general election later this year, according to the AP.
Her election, Wilson-Anton’s campaign confirmed to The Hill last Thursday, would make her the first practicing Muslim lawmaker to serve in the state’s General Assembly and the first Muslim to hold the local state House seat.