Story by Bob Hines & Michelle Alimoradi
In a special election this week in state Senate district 59 in Minneapolis, Kari Dziedzic won the competition between 5 DFL’ers to face a Republican opponent in January. She got 32% of the vote.
Just 339 votes behind her was the second place finisher, a Somali immigrant named Mohamud Noor. His strong showing in the election was attributed in part to support he drew from other Somalis living in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. But along the way Noor received endorsements from groups that no particular Somali connection – groups TakeAction Minnesota, Stonewall DFL and the Minnesota Association of Professional Employees.
Back in September, in another special DFL primary for a different state Senate vacancy, Sadik Warfa finished second to the eventual winner of the seat – Representative Jeff Hayden. Warfa got 28 percent of the vote in that contest.
If either of them had succeeded, they would have become the first Somali elected to the Minnesota legislature. Both Sadik Warfa and Mahamud Noor joined us in the studio.