Democrat flips seat to become 1st Muslim-American woman in Virginia Senate

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A community college administrator and first-time candidate has unseated a Republican incumbent in a competitive Richmond-area state Senate race.

Ghazala Hashmi defeated Sen. Glen Sturtevant Tuesday in a key win for Democrats hoping to flip control of the Senate.

Hashmi campaigned heavily on education, gun violence prevention, and health care, criticizing Sturtevant for his vote against Medicaid expansion.

Hashmi immigrated to the U.S. from India as a child. The state party says she will be the first Muslim-American woman to serve in the Senate.

Sturtevant, an attorney, took office in 2016. He promised to be an independent voice in the Senate and made opposition to a Richmond city schools rezoning plan a key part of his campaign.

With Hasmi's win in District 10, she becomes the first Muslim-American woman to ever serve in the Virginia Senate.

Senate District 10 encompasses part of central Virginia just west of Richmond, covering much of the City of Richmond as well as all of Powhatan County and parts of Chesterfield County.