First Eritrean-American Elected to Congress, Makes History as Colorado’s First Black Congressman


Joe Neguse, 34, will have a slew of highlights to add to his resume:

He’ll be Colorado’s first African-American congressman, one of only a handful of first-generation Americans to serve in Congress, the youngest of Colorado’s nine Congressional representatives and one of the youngest members of Congress in the nation.

“With so much vitriol right now in Washington and our political system, we must remember that, while fear is contagious, so is hope.” Neguse said in a written statement. “Tonight, I am deeply hopeful for the future of our country, as we work together to rebuild our democracy.”

Neguse’s platform included supporting a single-payer Medicare-for-all type plan that Polis also championed in Congress, starting impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump and protecting undocumented immigrants who arrived in the United States as children.

His parents immigrated to the United States from Eritrea, a war-torn African nation. After being granted asylum, they were naturalized as citizens. For that reason, Trump reportedly referring to nations in African as “s—hole countries” struck particularly close.

“How could I not (want to serve in Congress), when I think about my parents who immigrated to this country 35 years ago and how different their lives would be and my life would be if they tried to immigrate today,” Neguse said during the primary race. “Just fundamentally, everything is at stake this election.”