ROCHESTER, Minn. – Regardless of how you may feel about the results, it has been a historic election in many ways. A Minnesota woman will go down in the history books for being elected the nation’s first Somali-American legislator.
Voters in Minnesota elected 34-year old Ilhan Omar on Tuesday. She will serve House District 60B in Minneapolis.
Omar clinched the DFL nomination by defeating long-time Rep. Phyllis Kahn in the primaries. She virtually ran unopposed in the general election after her Republican opponent had to drop out of the race because of family issues.
But despite being a shoo-in, many are calling her victory a positive step for both the Somali and Muslim communities.
“It is an indication that the Somali community and the Muslim community is welcomed in the state and seen as part of the fabric of Minnesota,” explains Regina Mustafa, founder of CIDI (Community Interfaith Dialogue on Islam).
Mustafa, who taught a class on the misconceptions of Islam in Rochester on Wednesday night, says this positive news is helping her get through the rest of the election results.