CAIR Recognizes Historic Night of Muslim Primary Victories in Minnesota

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/15/18) -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today recognized the historic string of victories by American Muslim candidates in last night’s Minnesota primary election. Seven Minnesotan Somali, Arab-American and African-American Muslim candidates won a series of victories during last night’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor and non-partisan primaries.

[NOTE: As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CAIR does not endorse or oppose any candidate running for office.]

“Last night’s historic string of Minnesotan Muslims’ primary victories sets a new benchmark for American Muslims aspiring to give back to their communities and run for public office,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “American Muslims are not only defining their own narratives in a hostile political landscape, they are creating new spaces for what representation and diversity in public service looks like.”

“We are proud of the strong voter turnout of all Minnesotans in last night’s primary, especially Minnesota Muslim voters, in making democracy work for everyone,” said CAIR Minnesota’s Executive Director Jaylani Hussein. “Last night’s historic primary exemplified the trust Minnesotan voters place in Muslim candidates running for office.”

Hussein added that he expects Minnesota’s Muslim Republican voters to make the leap to candidates in future electoral races.   

List of Muslim Minnesota Primary Winners And Their Opponents:

  • African American Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison, who won 49.85 percent of the vote (280,587 votes) in a five-way race, will compete against Republican primary winner and former Minnesota state Representative Doug Wardlow, who won 46.3 percent of the vote (135,568 votes) in a three-way race, for Minnesota State Attorney General.

  • Somali-American Muslim state Representative Ilhan Omar, who won 48.2 percent of the vote (65,238 votes) in a six-way race, will face off with Republican primary winner Jennifer Zielinski, who won 56.5 percent of the vote (8,680 votes) in a three-way race, to represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District.

  • Somali-American Muslim Mohamud Noor, who won 39.7 of the vote (2909 votes) in a seven-way race, will challenge Republican primary winner Joseph Patiño, who won 67.1 percent of the vote (190 votes) in a two-way race, to represent Minnesota State Representative District 60B.   

  • Somali-American Muslim Hodan Hassan, who won 28.4 percent of the vote in a five-way race (2207 votes), will challenge Republican primary winner Bruce Lundeen, who won 100 percent of the votes (218) in an unchallenged race, to represent Minnesota State Representative District 62A.   

  • Somali-American Muslim Fardousa Jama, who won 27.26 percent of the vote (211 votes) in a three-way nonpartisan race will face off against Mark Frost, who won 63.7 percent of the votes (493 votes) to represent Council Member Ward 3 (Mankato).

  • Arab American Muslim Dr. Hala Asamarai, who won 20.3 percent of the vote (1851 votes) in a seven-way nonpartisan race will face off against Molly Lewis, who won 19.45 percent of the vote (1773 votes), and several other candidates (see above link), to represent as a School Board Member in Independent School District #13.

  • African American Muslim Sharon Dumas El-Amin, who won 20.32 percent of the vote (24912), in a five-way non-partisan race will face off against Kimberly Caprini, who won 29.88 percent of the vote (36113 votes), and several other candidates (see above link), to represent as a School Board Member at Large in Special School District #1.

These Muslim candidates join two other Minnesotan Muslims that have already earned their place on the November 6 ballot:

  • South Asian American Muslim Amir Joseph Malik (DFL) will challenge incumbent Minnesota State Representative Nolan West (R) to represent Minnesota State Representative District 37B.

  • Somali American Muslim Siad Ali who is running unopposed in the general election for Minneapolis Board of Education District 3.

Last week, CAIR congratulated Palestinian Arab-American Muslim Rashida Tlaib on winning the primary election in Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. Tlaib won the primary election defeating five other candidates. Running unopposed, her win in the November general election is ensured. She will be the first American Muslim woman elected to Congress.

In Massachusetts, African American Muslim Tahirah Amatul-Wadud will square off against incumbent Representative Richard E. Neal in the state’s Democratic Primary for Massachusetts’s 1st Congressional District. No Republican candidate is contesting for the office. The primary will take place September 4.

In April, the Washington Post reported that More than 90 American Muslims, nearly all of them Democrats, are running for public office across the country this year

This year, CAIR is working to mobilize American Muslim voters across the nation. 

SEE: Election Update: CAIR Reminds American Muslims to Go to the Polls Ahead of August & September Primaries

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

 

CONTACT: CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw, 202-742-6448, rmccaw@cair.com; CAIR National Communications Manager Naaz Modan, nmodan@cair.com.


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