Contentious DFL Convention Leaves No Candidate with an Endorsement

The state’s longest serving state legislator is facing arguably her toughest re-election bid.  Ilhan Omar as well as Mohamed Noor are running against incumbent Phyllis Kahn to win the DFL party’s nomination to represent District 60B (Cedar Riverside area) in the general election this fall. The District held it’s convention on April 9th, but no candidate received enough delegates to win the party’s nomination.  

Kahn is currently serving her 22nd consecutive term in the Minnesota House of Representatives.  She has made a name for herself by being a leading force in passing the Minnesota Clean Air Act (banning smoking in public places), her work seeking to protect the environment, as well as her recent activism in the Somali community of the Cedar Riverside neighborhood.

Ilhan Omar on the other hand is newer to Minnesota politics, but is not inexperienced. She has worked for the University of Minnesota, the Minnesota Department  of Education, Best Buy, and has served as a Policy Aide to Minneapolis City Councilman Andrew Johnson. Omar is of Somali descent, and fled the country at the age of 8 due to the Somalian civil war. If she were to win the party’s nomination and the general election, she’d be the state’s first Somali-American legislator. 

Mohamud Noor is also running to represent the DFL in Distrct 60b, but his chances of winning appear to be slimmer than those of Kahn and Omar.  Due to lack of support at the convention, he was dropped from the ballot after the second round of delegate votes. Noor did end up playing an integral role in the process though. After being booted from the ballot, Noor’s delegates chose not to endorse another candidate, thereby forcing a primary election.

The convention stirred up a lot of controversy, especially on social media.  Below are some tweets that convey just how contentious the race for district 60b’s seat is.phyllis Kahn tweet Ilhan Omar's tweet vote griffen

To obtain the DFL party endorsement, candidates need 60% of delegate support.  The Star Tribune reports that on the final ballot, Omar finished with approximately 55% delegate support, Kahn had roughly 33%, and Noor held the support of the roughly 12% of delegates that did not vote and endorse either Kahn or Omar after he was booted from the ballot.  A primary election will be held on August 9th, and all three candidates will be on the ballot.

The date of the primary and the lack of endorsement generates numerous problems for the candidates and the DFL. Due to the fact that the district is heavily student populated, a significant portion of the district’s population likely will not vote, due to being gone on summer vacation. This could alter the results. Also, roughly 5 additional months of campaigning means this race is far from over. Subscribe to Alpha News to remain up to date on all things Minnesota politics.