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Somali-Americans win big in August primaries

Hiiraan Online
Wednesday August 15, 2018

Minneapolis (HOL) - Three Somali-American candidates won their primaries in Minnesota on Tuesday in important elections around the U.S.

Ilhan Omar, Mohamud Noor and Hodan Hassan, all Democrats, have won their parties nomination to stand for elections in the November elections.

Mohamud Noor, a longtime activist in Minneapolis, won his bid to replace Ilham Omar in District 60B in Minnesota’s State House. With the incumbent’s endorsement, he defeated Peter Wagenius handily with 40% of the total vote. He will go head-to-head with Republican Joseph Pitino who defeated Fadumo Taani, another Somali-American, by garnering 67% of the votes to Taani’s 33%. If elected, Noor will be the first Somali-American man elected to Minnesota’s legislature.

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Hodan Hassan, a community activist and mental health practitioner won her primary race for District 62A on Tuesday by emerging in a crowded ballot that included two other Somali-American contenders. In the end, she narrowly defeated Osman Ahmed. Hassan was able to secure 28% of the total vote while Ahmed won 21%. Hodan hopes to defeat Bruce Lundeen who ran opposed for the Republican party’s nomination. She will follow Ilhan Omar in being the second Somali-American woman elected to the State House.

If both Mohamud Noor and Hodan Hassan win in November, it will be the first time that two Somali-Americans will serve simultaneously in the Minnesota legislature.

Somali-Americans.have made massive strides in the political arena since 2010 when Hussein Samatar broke barriers by being the first Somali-American to be elected to public office. His successful campaign to be elected as a Minneapolis school board member undoubtedly inspired a wave of politically active Somali-Americans to become more proactive in running for office. By 2013, Abdi Warsame was elected as the first Somali-American to City Council in Minneapolis. Ilhan Omar’s historic election win in 2016 made her the first Somali-American legislator in the United States and following her big victory on Tuesday’s primaries, she will likely be the first Somali-American in Congress.


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