Keith Ellison re-elected over White

DFL 5th Congressional District incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to Congress, was elected to another term in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday. Ellison beat Republican Barb Davis White and the Independence PartyâÄôs Bill McGaughey on Election Day with 70.9 percent of the vote Tuesday with all precincts reporting. Those who gathered at Trocaderos Nightclub & Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis were excited by the Democratic PartyâÄôs success throughout the night, and their enthusiasm mounted as Ellison spoke. âÄúThe main idea is not that some politicians won some elections,âÄù Ellison said. âÄúThis is about defeating a set of ideas.âÄù âÄúWe made substantial progress to getting brand new senators all over the country,âÄù he said. Ellison won the 2006 election with 56 percent of the vote in the state and more than 63 percent of the vote in the University of MinnesotaâÄôs precincts. He began serving as a freshman congressman in January 2007. Ellison talked little about his religion on the campaign trail in 2006. Instead, he focused on his support for single-payer healthcare, gay marriage and his call for immediate withdrawal from Iraq. This election year, Ellison was overwhelmingly favored for a second term in the heavily Democratic 5th district. The district has been represented by the DFL party since 1963. University alumna Susan Woehrle, who campaigned for Ellison, said Davis White didnâÄôt have much of a campaign; many people thought Ellison was running unopposed. Neil Taylor, a first-year geography student and an Ellison supporter, said Ellison is a level-headed politician. Taylor was impressed when Ellison was sworn into Congress on Thomas JeffersonâÄôs copy of the Quran, he said. âÄúHe made a pretty strong statement that other ideas and beliefs should be accepted in this country,âÄù Taylor said. Ellison converted from Catholicism to Islam at age 19 while attending Wayne State University in Detroit. After graduating in 1987 with a bachelorâÄôs degree in economics, he moved to Minneapolis to attend law school at the University of Minnesota. During his time at the University, Ellison wrote several articles in The Minnesota Daily defending Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, which caused controversy in his 2006 election campaign. He graduated with a law degree from the University in 1990.