Woman Who Fled Taliban Wins NH State House Seat

Credit: Safiya Wazir/Twitter

CONCORD, N.H (AP) —  A woman who moved to the U.S. from Afghanistan has been elected to New Hampshire's 400-member House of Representatives, making her the first former refugee to win a seat in the state Legislature.

Safiya Wazir, a Democrat from Concord, beat Republican Dennis Soucy on Tuesday. She defeated a four-term incumbent in September's Democratic primary.

Wazir was 6 when her family fled the Taliban in 1997, and she spent 10 years in Uzbekistan before moving to Concord. She started high school at age 16, studying the dictionary at night and working jobs at Walmart and Goodwill. She became a U.S. citizen in 2013, and earned a business degree from Concord's community college. She and her husband have two daughters and another baby due in January.

Wazir serves on the board of a social services agency and volunteers with Head Start.

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