Maryam Khan elected as first Muslim member of CT House
Maryam Khan of Windsor won a special election to the 5th House District of Windsor and Hartford on Tuesday, becoming the first Muslim elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives.
Unofficial results showed Khan, a Democrat, winning nearly 75% of the votes in a three-way race over Republican Charles W. Jackson and petitioning candidate Lawrence O. Jaggon to succeed former Rep. Brandon McGee Jr., D-Hartford.
Her victory shifts possession of the seat from Hartford to Windsor for the first time since the district was drawn 10 years ago with boundaries favoring Windsor, but McGee managed five victories from his base in the city’s North End.
Turnout was 8.7%, with 851 voters turning out in two Hartford and three Windsor precincts.
Khan has been a member of the Windsor Board of Election since 2017 and currently serves as its vice president.
McGee resigned to become the political director of the reelection campaign of Gov. Ned Lamont. The election Tuesday gives Democrats a 97-54 majority in the House.
Khan, 33, who recently resigned as a special education teacher at A.I. Prince Technical High School, said inequity in education was an issue driving her 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,” Khan said.
Khan has a master’s degree in special education from Central Connecticut State University and taught in the Hartford public schools before starting at Prince Tech in the fall of 2019.
She will be the first Muslim woman in the House and the second Muslim elected to the General Assembly. The first was Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor, a pulmonologist.
With redistricting taking effect in the fall, Khan’s 5th House District will overlap in a small section of South Windsor with Anwar’s 3rd Senate District.
With an estimated population of more than 100,000, Muslims are a small but growing community in Connecticut.
The U.S. Census does not measure the population by religious affiliation, but estimates of Muslims in the U.S. range from 2 million to 7 million, no more than 2% of the population.
According to surveys by Pew, more than 60% of U.S. Muslims are immigrants, and more than 70% of those are U.S. citizens. Khan emigrated to the U.S. from Pakistan as a young child in 1994.