US: Former Afghan refugee wins New Hampshire primary

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON (AA) – Former Afghan refugee Safiya Wazir recently won an upset victory in the New Hampshire Democratic primary against four-term State Representative Dick Patten.

By winning the Democratic primary for the 17th district of New Hampshire, she is on track to become the first refugee to ever serve public office in the state of New Hampshire.

She will face Republican candidate Dennis Soucy in the general election in November.

Wazir, 27, fled Afghanistan with her family when she was six years old and arrived in the U.S. in 2007.

After settling in Concord, New Hampshire, she made a new home in the United States, eventually becoming a citizen.

While the victory came as a surprise, it was absolute. Wazir dealt a heavy blow to incumbent Patten, winning 327 to 143 in Tuesday’s primary.

"Thank you to all my supporters who helped me win tonight’s Dem. primary. I will work hard for all the residents of Ward8," Wazir said on Twitter.

The newly-elected Democratic nominee is running on a campaign platform of advocating for school safety, access to health care and equal housing and economic opportunities.

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