Minneapolis politician Ilhan Omar made history when she won a Minnesota House seat and will become the nation’s first Somali-American legislator.
Omar, 34, won House District 60B, which comprises parts of the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, southeast Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota. It was represented for decades by DFLer Phyllis Kahn. Omar defeated Kahn in a primary contest and ran virtually unopposed after her Republican opponent suspended his campaign for family reasons.
Omar said the win was “icing on the cake” of a long campaign season and that she’d be a “voice for the marginalized” at the Capitol.
“I think I bring the voice of young people,” she said. “I think I bring the voice of women in the East African community. I bring the voice of Muslims. I bring the voice of young mothers looking for opportunities.”
In addition to her new role, Omar is also director of policy at Women Organizing Women Network — a group dedicated to pushing East African women into civic leadership.