September 11, 2018


27-year-old refugee defeats life-long Concord resident in Democratic primary for state rep  (CAITLIN ANDREWS, September 11, 2018, Concord Monitor)

At first, Safiya Wazir couldn't believe what she was hearing.

A second later, it sunk in - after a long day on her feet, Wazir, a pregnant 27-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, defeated lifelong Heights resident and four-term District 17 state Rep. incumbent Dick Patten, overcoming an opponent who tried to say her lack of experience and status as a refugee would hurt her campaign. 

Instead, Wazir said those very things - as well as her drive to connect with voters through doorknocking, thank-you notes and election reminders - buoyed her campaign.

"They were very excited there was someone new running for the State House," she said of her supporters. "It gives me so much energy to be backed from the people themselves. It's driven me to be positive."

Wazir will face off against Republican Dennis Soucy, who's lived in Concord longer than Wazir has been alive.

If she wins in November, Wazir stands to make New Hampshire history as the first refugee to ever serve public office in the state, according to Secretary of State Bill Gardner. Wazir's family left Afghanistan as the Taliban continued to gain power and landed in Concord in 2007.

Posted by at September 11, 2018 9:35 PM