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Nadia Mohamed Becomes Nation’s First Elected Somali American Mayor

Nadia Mohamed made history on Nov. 7 when she was elected by the people of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, to be their mayor. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, Mohamed is believed to be the first Somali-American democratically elected to be mayor in United States history.

Mohamed also became the first Black mayor in the town’s history, in addition to becoming the first Somali-American mayor in Minnesota’s history. Mohamed was previously the first Somali-American elected to city council in 2019. There was another Somali-American mayor, but Deqa Dhalac was appointed by a city council vote in 2021 by the South Portland, Maine, council. In any case, Mohamed is excited about her win and eager to get started, as she told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “This is a milestone. This is not the destination. As mayor, I want to ensure people see themselves reflected in our policies.”

Mohamed ran a progressive campaign focused on community policing and housing reform to create more affordable housing. She also received a boon in the form of an endorsement from the outgoing mayor, Jake Spano, whose choice not to seek reelection cleared the path for Mohamed’s victory. Mohamed also secured endorsements from Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, Rep. Larry Kraft, and Rep. Cheryl Youakim.

Mohamed won her election handily, capturing almost 60% of the vote from her constituents. Mohamed reflected on the quiet strength of her mother, who inspired her as she made her campaign. Mohamed told supporters on election day, “I have watched a courageous woman handle her business every day. That courage comes easy to me now.”