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Omar wins MN House seat; nation's first Somali-American lawmaker
by Doualy Xaykaothao
Minneapolis organizer Ilhan Omar made history Tuesday when she won a Minnesota House seat and prepared to 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.
While her election wasn't a surprise in a reliably Democratic district — she was elected by almost 80 percent of the vote there — it carried huge symbolic importance in Minnesota, home to the nation's largest Somali immigrant population. It came just days after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump ripped Somali immigration as a threat to Minnesota.
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