Meet The Black Woman Who Just Became The First Muslim Elected to Office in Delaware’s 233-Year History


September 24, 2020

Talk about historical!

Madinah Wilson-Anton became the first Muslim woman to be elected to office in Delaware in the state’s 233-year history, the Newark Post reports.


Wilson-Anton is a 27-year-old Democrat who ran against 70-year-old incumbent John Viola for the 26th District seat – a seat Viola had occupied since 1998. A native of the district, Wilson-Anton grew up in Newark, utilizing her lived experience to run a campaign rooted in real change for the community. She currently works as a policy analyst at the University of Delaware’s Biden Institute, getting her start in politics as a legislative aid for Viola, something she called “an eye-opening experience.” 

During her campaign, Wilson-Anton focused on the issues she felt mattered most to her constituents. She advocated for an improved education system, reforming the education funding model in Delaware, stable housing for renters, and economic justice reform. 

“Our legislators are so used to how things are that they lost the imagination for what’s possible. It’s the people that are within the system now that’s not going to fix it, so we need to elect people who will,” Wilson-Anton told the Newark Post earlier in her campaign. “A lot of things seem controversial in the legislative hall, but it’s not controversial at all when you talk to people in the community…Frustration really inspired me to run, because I’m tired of complaining, and I want to make a difference.” 


Her ideals and platform struck a clear chord with voters, who elected Wilson-Anton as the 26th district representative, winning by just 43 votes. Wilson-Anton shared her excitement after the victory, tweeting out her thanks to everyone who voted.


“We won by 43 votes. 43 VOTES! Every. Single. Vote. Matter. 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 said. 

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib also tweeted in support of the new Delaware Rep, writing, “Tears of joy.” Tlaib is a member of the Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee (PAC) aimed at transforming the Democratic Party from the inside out by “running primary challengers against out-of-touch Democratic incumbents” to harness real independent power. Black Lives Matter activist, Cori Bush, was recently endorsed by the PAC, successfully defeating a 20 year Missouri Incumbent. 


“The establishment wants us to wait in line for the changes we deserve, and our campaign has shown people are sick of waiting and are ready for change,” Wilson-Anton said. “I think it’s really important that the person representing our community – which is actually a majority-minority district, very young compared to other districts in the state and also very, very progressive – is someone who is fighting for the issues that are important to us and not just getting in line with the caucus.”   


Congratulations, State Representative Madinah Wilson-Anton!

Photo Courtesy of Madinah Wilson-Anton/Newark Post

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