state representative

Historic Win in West Philly Special Election Sees Muslim Woman Claiming Victory in State First

Movita Johnson-Harrell is claiming victory in Philadelphia's 190th Legislative District

What to Know

  • Movita Johnson-Harrell is the apparent winner in a special election in Philadelphia's 190th Legislative District.
  • Johnson-Harrell claims to be first Muslim woman elected to the Pennsylvania legislature.
  • She will serve out the term of fellow Democrat Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown who resigned after a bribery conviction.

Movita Johnson-Harrell is claiming to have made history as the apparent winner of a special election to serve out the rest of the state representative term for a Pennsylvania district that covers parts of West Philadelphia and North Philadelphia.

Johnson-Harrell is the apparent winner of the special election in the 190th Legislative District by taking nearly nearly two thirds of the votes with nearly 94 percent of precincts reporting. She is a advocate of gun violence prevention after the 2011 killing of her son.

Johnson-Harrell reacted to her win on Facebook saying she is “honored to be the first Muslim woman elected to the Pennsylvania legislature.”

“We ran a race of integrity and class even with the slander and politics,” Johnson-Harrell wrote. “This win is bittersweet. My seat rests on the grave of my son Charles Johnson. I will fight to protect our communities and tackle this multilayered problem.”

She ended her post with Islamic phrase "ALLAH U AKBAR."

The Democratic Johnson-Harrell will serve out the rest of the seat won by former Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown this past November. Brown resigned after being sentenced to probation in November for a bribery conviction. 

The other special election Tuesday saw a Democrat also holding onto a seat as Bridget Malloy Kosierowski is the apparent winner over Republican Frank Scavo to serve out deceased Lackawanna County Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich's term.

Republicans hold the House majority with 110 members. Democrats hold onto 93 seats with the two wins.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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