WASHINGTON / MINNEAPOLIS — Four Somali-Americans won races for public office in local elections that took place around the U.S. on Tuesday.
In a contest between two Somali immigrants running for a seat on the Minneapolis city council, the incumbent, Abdi Warsame, narrowly beat challenger Mohamud Noor, 50 percent to 47 percent.
“From January, up to now our situation was good and now we have won the election with the public vote. I am very happy,” Warsame said.
Warsame was elected in 2013 as the first Somali-American to serve in a municipal office.
During his campaign, he said his goals for a second term include strengthening relations between the Somali community and police. He has also proposed developing a mall in the Somali community.
Noor did not immediately accept the result.
“It’s clear tonight that the outcome of this election has not yet been decided. We will fight to make sure every vote is counted, and the numerous irregularities that were reported are fully investigated,” Noor posted on his Facebook page.
Also in Minneapolis, Abdulkadir Hassan, a Somali-American, won a seat on the Park and Recreation Board.
In Hopkins, a city west of Minneapolis, Fartun Ahmed won a seat on the Hopkins School Board, after securing the endorsements of all three retiring Hopkins School Board members.
In Washington state, Zak Idan became the city of Tukwila’s newest council member, replacing a man who decided not to run after holding the seat for 36 years.
At least six Somali-American candidates who were running for various offices, including Noor, lost elections.
Last year, Somali-Americans celebrated their biggest political victory when Ilhan Omar, a former refugee and a Muslim, won a seat in the Minnesota state legislature.
VOA’s Mohamud Mascade contributed to this report.