Ilhan Omar unseats 44-year incumbent Phyllis Kahn in historic victory
MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - A Somali-American woman made history by securing the primary election in the State Representative race in Minnesota's District 60B.
If Ilhan Omar wins the election in November, she will become the first Somali-American State Representative as well as the first Somali-American woman in the Minnesota legislature.
In the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, Omar won 2,404 votes, which is 40.95 percent of the vote. Her opponents Mohamud Noor received 1,738 votes, and long-time incumbent Phyllis Kahn received 1,726 votes. Kahn has spent 44 years in the Legislature.
"Our campaign is about connecting with people and engaging them in the political process. We are uniting the diverse voices of our district - long term residents, East African immigrants and students," Omar said after the results. "I will make sure their voices are heard at the Capitol."
Omar 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.
"The diversity of our district is our greatest strength," Omar said. "We will draw upon our collective experience to build a more prosperous and equitable Minnesota."