Photo credit: VOA News - Nadia Mohamed, shown here in a photo from her Facebook election campaign page, became the first Somali-American to be elected mayor when she won her race in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, on Nov. 7, 2023.

Former Somali Refugee Elected Mayor of Minnesota City, Making History

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA — Voters in the Minnesota city of St. Louis Park elected Nadia Mohamed, a 27-year-old Somali-American, as the city’s first Black, first Somali, and first Muslim mayor Tuesday night.

The election results show that Mohamed easily defeated Dale Anderson, a former banker and continuing education teacher, by a margin of 58% to 41%.

“I am very happy to win as Somali-American, Muslim, migrant and Black,” she told VOA’s Somali Service. “I would say thank you to all of those who supported me in this. It is our victory.”

Maine State Rep. Deqa Dhalac was the first Somali American to serve as mayor of an American city in 2021, when South Portland’s six-member council selected Dhalac for the role. Mohamed becomes the first Somali mayor in American history elected directly by voters.

“I have lived in this city for 18 years,” said Mohamed. “I grew up and finished my school here, so it was easy for me to get elected because people know me.”

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