Six of the current members of the US Congress of Lebanese descent ran for the general elections on November 3rd.
As of today, three out of the six Lebanese-American politicians received more than 50% of the votes, winning another year. Here are all the U.S. politicians of Lebanese origin that won and lost in the U.S. elections.
#1 Darin LaHood
Another winning year for Republican Darin LaHood who got re-elected in the Illinois 18th district. Lahood’s father, Ray Lahood, served as a congressman for 7 terms.
Back in 2019, the Lebanese-American Republican tweeted: “I am proud to be Lebanese-American. My family immigrated to Peoria from Lebanon through Ellis Island. I am grateful to represent 8K+ Lebanese-American families in Peoria.”
#2 Ralph Abraham
Republican Ralph Abraham, whose paternal grandparents were originally immigrants from Lebanon, stepped down from his northeast Louisiana-based district.
Nine people sought to fill the open seat in what has been a reliably Republican district, in which Republican Luke Letlow has earned a runoff spot in the race.
#3 Garret Graves
Republican Garret Graves, another US representative with Lebanese descent from Louisiana, easily kept his seat in the state’s 6th congressional district winning 71% of the votes.
#4 Charlie Crist
U.S. Congressman Charlie Crist got re-elected to Florida’s 13th Congressional District.
Democrat Crist’s first win marked a historic moment as he was able to flip a seat held by Republican representatives for decades. The U.S. politican is of Lebanese and Greek descent, and used to be a Republican till he endorsed President Obama in 2012 and became a Democrat.
#5 Donna Shalala
Another U.S. politician with Lebanese origins is Donna Shalala, who lost re-election to Republican Maria Elvira Salazar by a difference of 3 percentage points.
Shalala was the Health and Human Services in Bill Clinton’s administration (1993–2001). She also served as the president of the University of Miami from 2001 until 2015.
#6 Debbie Mucarsel
U.S. representative Debbie Mucarsel held the Democrats’ most vulnerable House seat in Florida, but lost in the re-elections to Republican Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
Mucarsel is of Lebanese and Ecuadorian ancestry. She immigrated to the United States when she was 14 years old, with her mother and three older sisters.
Out of all the American-Lebanese politicians, Mucarsel is unique for her tough upbringing.
She learned the struggles immigrants face at an early age when her mother had to work double shifts to make ends meet, while attending night school to learn English.
Mucarsel’s first job was at the age of 15, where she started helping her mother by working at a doughnut shop before school.
#7 Darrel Issa
Darrel Issa, an American-Lebanese businessman and Republican politician whose father was a Lebanese American of the Maronite Catholic faith won the race for the 50th congressional district garnering 136,322 votes.
#8 Michael Chehab
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives, the Lebanese-American attorney has put his name in the running for state representative in District 30. However, he lost to republican Diana Farrington.
#9 Jeanne Shaheen
Finally, an honorable mention goes to Jeanne Shaheen.
A member of the Democratic Party and the first female U.S. senator in New Hampshire’s history, Shaheen ran for re-election to a third term in office, winning by taking home 56.7% of the votes.
Although she’s not Lebanese-American herself, her husband Bill Shaheen is a Lebanese-American attorney and political operative.