As the results of the US midterm elections came in, a 23-year-old Indian-American Muslim woman created history when she became the youngest member to be elected to the Illinois General Assembly by flipping a Republican-held suburban seat.
Having received 52.3% of the vote, Democrat Nabeela Syed upset incumbent Republican Chris Bos in the 51st district of Illinois.
Taking to Twitter, she stated: “My name is Nabeela Syed. I’m a 23-year-old Muslim, Indian-American woman. We just flipped a Republican-held suburban district. And in January, I’ll be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly.”
My name is Nabeela Syed. I’m a 23-year old Muslim, Indian-American woman. We just flipped a Republican-held suburban district. And in January, I’ll be the youngest member of the Illinois General Assembly.
— Nabeela Syed (@NabeelaforIL) November 9, 2022
Syed overcame a formidable rival like Bos to flip a Republican seat after winning the Democratic primary in June 2022.
She announced that she will shortly post a thread to thank her supporters and the team that helped her win. Syed, a University of California, Berkeley graduate in political science and business administration, also sent a lengthy message on the social networking site Instagram. She discussed her political background and what it was like to canvass for votes.
Syed, who is also the first South Asian to serve in the state legislature, claimed that she and her staff had discussions with constituents about actual problems that affected their daily lives.
Syed said that she “knocked every door in this district,” talking to elders about the rising expense of prescription medicines, working families about the rising burden of property taxes, women about reproductive healthcare, and parents about gun safety.
“We won this race because the people of the 51st District want a representative who is ready to fight for them and their families. I knocked every door in this district. Tomorrow, I start knocking them again to thank them for placing their trust in me. I’m ready to get to work,” she said on Instagram.
View this post on Instagram A post shared by Nabeela Syed (@nabeelasyed)
Syed was reportedly born and raised in Illinois and also held the position of president of an organisation that provided free consultancy services to nearby businesses.
According to her official website, she is currently employed with a non-profit that promotes gender parity, reduces sexual assault on college campuses, and mobilises voters.
Syed has volunteered as a high school debate coach and mentor for young people, according to her website.
According to the website, she is also engaged in the Islamic Society of Northwest Suburbs, where she is a big supporter of encouraging interfaith communication and giving young Muslim women more leadership opportunities.