How two Nigerian-Americans Broke Records in US Election
Two Nigerian – Americans , Esther Agbaje , and Oye Owolewa , emerged victorious in the 2020 US election, breaking two records .
While Agbaje won a legislative seat in Minnesota House of Representatives , Owolewa was elected into the US House of Representatives.
Agbaje set the record for being the first Nigerian – American in the Minnesota legislature.
On his part, Owolewa broke the record of not having a Nigerian -American in the US congress . His emergence on Tuesday made him the first Nigerian – American elected into the US congress .
Agbaje defeated her closest rival , Alan Shilepsky , by a landslide.
She scored a total of 17 , 396 votes , which represents 74 . 6 per cent of the total votes cast.
Shilepsky , a nominee for the Republican Party , scored 4 , 128 votes , representing 17 . 7 per cent of the total votes cast.
The 35 – year- old daughter of an Episcopal priest and a librarian, both Nigerian immigrants , defeated longtime state Representative Raymond Dehn in the party ’ s primary in August .
She is one of four progressive greenhorns who defeated established Democratic legislators in the primary .
Agbaje has a law degree from Harvard University , a Master ’ s from the University of Pennsylvania , and has served in the U . S . Department of State , among others.
Thirty – five- year – old Agbaje confirmed that she would be representing District 59 B in the Minnesota House of Representatives on the platform of the Minnesota Democratic – Farmer – Labor Party ( DFLP ) , an affiliate of the U. S . Democratic Party , on her website.
Owolewa was elected as a shadow member of the United States House of Representatives from the District of Columbia .
According to election results on the website of the District of Columbia Board of Elections on Wednesday morning , Owolewa polled 81 . 59 per cent of the votes , which represents 164 , 026 votes against Joyce Robinson -Paul , who scored 18 , 600 votes , and Sohaer Syed with 15 , 372 votes .
Owolewa ’ s father is from Kwara State and mother from Oyo State . He is a Ph . D holder in Pharmacy from Northeastern University , Boston .
“ I stand before you as America ’ s first Nigerian – American congressman. In this role , I ’ m going to fight for DC statehood and bring our values to the lawmaking process , ” he said after his winning the election .
Meanwhile , the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission has congratulated the Nigerian – Americans who emerged victoriously in the 2020 US election .
In a statement , the Chairman of NiDCOM , Mrs Abike Dabiri – Erewa, “ rejoiced with Agbaje for being the first Nigerian – American in the Minnesota legislature” .
The statement titled ‘ US polls: Dabiri -Erewa hails the victory of another Nigerian – American , Esther Agbaje for winning Minnesota Reps ticket ’ , was signed by Head, Media , Public Relations and Protocols Unit ( NIDCOM ), Abdur- Rahman Balogun .
It read , “The election of Ms Esther Agbaje in the Minnesota House of Representatives is a testimony that Nigerians are capable of being trusted with the position of authority .
“ Agbaje ’ s victory makes her the first Nigerian – American in the Minnesota legislature.
“ It is expected that more Nigerians will win their polls in the ongoing national elections in US . ”
Earlier , Dabiri congratulated Owolewa , the first Nigerian to be elected into the US House of Representatives .
In the letter of congratulations , Dabiri – Erewa was pleased with “ the wonderful feat of Owolewa ” , describing it as “ well deserved ”.
“ This goes to show that with dedication , hard work, resilience and prayer one can achieve just about anything ” , Dabiri – Erewa added .