Texas voters made history Tuesday by electing two Muslim immigrants and three openly gay Black lawmakers to the state Legislature.
Fort Bend County voters elected Dr. Suleman Lalani as House District 76 state representative. Lalani came to the country in the 1990s to begin his career as a doctor. According to his website, he chose the U.S. for its advanced medicine and quality of healthcare.
"It was a shock to discover how inequitable the healthcare system was in this wealthy nation," Lalani said on his website. "The advancements and the high level of care was undeniable, but the access to the common citizen was shameful."
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He said that's what inspired him to run for office after 17 years in private practice in Sugar Land. His campaign slogan was "the right prescription for Texas."
Tarrant County voters in House District 92 elected Salman Bhojani, another Muslim immigrant. His family moved to the U.S. from Pakistan when he was a teenager, according to the Texas Tribune.
In Houston, Democrat Jolanda Jones became the first openly gay Black candidate to win election to the Legislature in a special election in May. She was elected for a full term Tuesday.
Beaumont voters chose Democrat Christian Manual Hayes in House District 22 and District 100 in Dallas elected Venton Jones. They are the first openly gay men elected to the Texas House.
“They’ve never backed down when our rights are on the line and we are confident they’ll channel this courage and compassion in Austin,” Annise Parker, the former Houston mayor who serves as president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, said.
The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.