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Afghan May Soon Enter New Hampshire Legislature

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    Posted: 13-Sep-2018 at 10:54pm

She Was a Refugee From Afghanistan. She May Soon Enter the New Hampshire Legislature.

Safiya Wazir, 27, who fled the Taliban with her family in 1997, won an upset victory in a New Hampshire primary. “There can be change, yes. Why not?” she said.


Safiya Wazir, whose family fled the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1997, won the Democratic primary for a state house seat in Concord, N.H., on Tuesday.CreditCreditElizabeth Frantz for The New York Times
  • It was a mere state house race, below the radar, with fewer than 500 votes cast. But Safiya Wazir’s upset victory in New Hampshire on Tuesday is yet one more striking example of how nontraditional candidates are upending expectations in this extraordinary election season.

Ms. Wazir, just 27 and a refugee from Afghanistan, toppled a four-term incumbent in the Democratic primary for state representative in a blue-collar neighborhood of Concord, the state capital.

Her opponent was Dick Patten, 66, a former city councilor and former police dispatcher who was first elected to the state legislature in 2010. His campaign focused on immigrants, whom he blamed for “getting everything,” such as welfare benefits, to the detriment of people born and raised in New Hampshire.

She beat him, 329 to 143.

It was a stunning upset, not just because Ms. Wazir is so young, a woman and new to politics — not to mention relatively new to this country — but because New Hampshire is 94 percent white. Its neighbors, Vermont and Maine, are 95 percent white, making northern New England collectively the nation’s whitest region.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/13/us/politics/wazir-new-hampshire.html



Edited by MateenK - 13-Sep-2018 at 11:03pm
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