MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Minneapolis voters have elected Ilhan Omar to the Minnesota House, making her the first Somali-American lawmaker in the nation. Omar will represent District 60B, which is home to the largest Somali population in America.
District 60 covers all of Minneapolis east of the Mississippi River, as well as some areas just across the river from the University of Minnesota, including the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
"Tonight is the culmination of more than a year of hard work. I am so proud of this win because District 60B represents Minnesota at its finest. My neighbors, and everyone here in this room, represent what we as a nation want to be: united in our diversity," Omar said in a statement. "Long time residents, East African immigrants and students -- we came together and engaged in the political progress. We talked about the issues that concern us and we connected on the future we want to create. Tonight, we are celebrating this win, our win. But our work won't stop. We will continue to build a more prosperous and equitable district -- state, and nation -- where each and every one of us has opportunities to thrive and move forward together. "
Omar ran unopposed after her Republican challenger dropped out of the race. Omar had a remarkable victory in the primary, defeating 44-year incumbent Phyllis Kahn.
Omar, 33, is a progressive DFL activist, educator and policy analyst. She serves as the Director of Policy and Initiatives for the Women Organizing Women (WOW) Network, which works to engage and empower East African women to take civic leadership roles and see themselves as leaders within their communities.
Omar said she will dedicate herself to closing the opportunity gap and advancing an agenda focused on economic, social, racial and environmental justice.