CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WWBT) — Ghazala Hashmi has a lot to celebrate after her first political run - specifically, her first political win, gaining her a seat in the Virginia General Assembly.
“It’s been an overwhelming few hours, just trying to process everything since last night. I’ve gotten over 200 text messages and lots of phone calls to get back to,” Hashmi said.
Now, Dr. Hashmi’s makes the transition from “campaign mode", to focus on the next few months, as the first Muslim-American woman elected into the state Senate after she beat incumbent Glen Sturtevant for the 10th District, which covers Richmond City, Powhatan County, and parts of Chesterfield County.
“I think it really means that Virginia, in particular, is so ready for our true values to be reflected. That we really have embraced our diversity and we really value inclusivity,” she said.
The nearly 30-year Chesterfield resident says the best part of her campaign was inspiring other young minorities, adding that she’s “heard from many moms, who in particular with their daughters, are really excited that my campaign, and now my success, have opened up a world of possibilities for their children.”
NBC12 spoke with the Imam of the Islamic Center of Virginia on Senator-elect Hashmi’s win.
“It’s very exciting that she’s a woman and a Muslim, and somebody that we have a lot of respect for. There was excitement about her. But here where we live in Bon Air and Southside, there was a lot of excitement from all of our neighbors: Christians, and Jewish People, and very diverse neighborhoods,” said Imam Ammar Amonette.
The Imam adds that there’s a sense of motivation after Hashmi’s win, not only in the mosque but in the community as a whole.
“For our community, it encourages young people that they can get involved and that their voices will be heard, and they may play a bigger role in the future. And it’s really wide open – it’s not what people used to think, that it’s limited to one group or another group,” he said.
Senator-elect Hashmi says her top priority when she takes office will be on education, reducing gun violence and health care.
She is set to be sworn in on January 8th, 2020.