‘A milestone’: Minneapolis suburb elects a Somali American mayor

Nadia Mohamed makes history in St. Louis Park, Minn., with a resounding defeat of her opponent, a retired banker
Nadia Mohamed was elected mayor of St. Louis Park, Minn., a Minneapolis suburb. She is the first Somali American elected to that office in any American city. (Photo courtesy of Vote Nadia for St. Louis Park mayor campaign)

Nadia Mohamed was voted in as the next mayor of St. Louis Park, Minn., a suburb on the west side of Minneapolis that just became the first city in the United States to elect a Somali American to that office.

Deqa Dhalac of South Portland, Maine, was the first Somali American to serve as an American city mayor, but she was unanimously selected by that city’s six-member council in 2021, not by the general electorate. Given that Maine is the Whitest state in the union according to 2020 Census data, it was a feat nonetheless.

“This is a milestone…not the destination,” Mohamed, 27, told supporters after the results came in on Tuesday. “As mayor, I want to ensure people see themselves reflected in our policies.”

Mohamed got 58% of the vote, easily defeating retired banker Dale A. Anderson (41%). She comes from the same district that made U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar the first woman of color elected to represent Minnesota and the first Somali American elected to Congress.

“These milestones we are breaking as Somali Americans [aren’t] accidental, it’s hard work and [belief] in ourselves,” Omar posted on X, formerly Twitter. “I am glad to have paved the way and can’t wait to see what more milestones we will cross as a community.”

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