Former community college professor Ghazala Hashmi just became the first Muslim woman elected to Virginia’s state Senate. As a representative of the state’s 10th Senate District, Hashmi will oversee Richmond, Powhatan County and parts of Chesterfield County in Virginia.
Hashmi, a Democrat who ran for public office for the first time, unseated Republican state Sen. Glen Sturtevant on Tuesday to represent the state’s 10th Senate District.
As a child, Hashmi immigrated from India to the U.S. with her family, reports The Hill. According to her campaign website, she was raised in a small town in Georgia where she “saw firsthand how community-building and open dialogue can bridge cultural and socioeconomic divisions.”
In 1991, Hashmi, who earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgia Southern University and a PhD from Emory University, moved to Richmond, Virginia with her husband. For the past 25 years, she’s devoted her career to being an educator in the state. Before winning her election, she served as the Founding Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning at Reynolds Community College in Richmond.