Former Somali Muslim refugee defeats longtime Minnesota state representative

A Somali Muslim activist and former refugee defeated a longtime Democrat in a Minnesota House of Representatives race, making her the first American-Muslim woman to win an election.

Ilhan Omar defeated 22-term Rep. Phyllis Kahn, pushing her on to the district’s general election where she’s likely to win the seat in the heavily Democratic area, according to CBS News.

The district spans the University of Minnesota and is home to a large population of immigrants from Somalia and other East African countries. Omar argued the district needs a fresher face that better represents the diversity and needs of the area.

Omar is a political activist and former aide to the Minneapolis City Council.

Omar escaped war-torn Somalia and lived in a refugee camp in Kenya before resettling in the United States, where she is now a community organizer, according to WND.

Among some of her most noted and controversial accomplishments is lobbying to pass legislation that honors Muslims in the Minneapolis area.

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