MINNEAPOLIS — The Minneapolis DFL tried again to endorse a candidate for Ward 6 on Saturday. The seat, currently held by Minneapolis City Councilman Abdi Warsame, fell into contention when former candidate for State Representative Mohamud Noor announced his decision to run in the race.
The Star Tribune reported that more than 800 people showed up to the original caucus in April that led to chaos and police being called to the scene. No one was endorsed in April and Democrats attempted to reschedule the caucus multiple times.
Saturday’s event at Northeast Middle School in Minneapolis was less attended with approximately 200 people.
On Friday evening, just hours before the convention was set to commence, Noor made a shocking announcement, he would not seek the DFL endorsement.
In a facebook post on his personal page, Noor writes:
After much consideration, I have decided not to participate in today’s sixth ward endorsing convention due to potential safety risk for participants and I do not want help to legitimize a flawed process. I believe conducting the convention in hastily and non-transparent manner will cast a doubt on the credibility not only on the process but also the results.
This is the third attempt to schedule the convention after arrangements to hold it at two other venues failed. The Ward 6 Convention Planning committee passed resolutions on May 13th to cancel the convention with no endorsement. The committee, tasked with planning the convention, cited delegate safety and integrity of the electoral process as reasons for the recommendation. The delegates list provided by the Minneapolis DFL is invalid and this is a recipe for a disaster. After caucus chaos, l was told that this is a Somali problem and I will not allow our community to be a scapegoat. I hope to move beyond this typical labelling and have a broad discussion on the fundamental issues facing the residents of sixth ward.
The residents of sixth ward deserve the opportunity to elect the candidate who best represents their interests. Our campaign will move forward to seek the support of all residents for the November 7th election. Thank you!
Delegates blamed Noor for the violence and chaos that occurred at the April convention. Several delegates told Alpha News that this behavior is not common amongst the Somali community and had not occurred during past endorsing conventions, pointing the finger to Noor and his supporters.
Most of the convention delegates were from the Somali community and the crowd was filled with yellow Warsame campaign shirts.
The convention was very peaceful with a sense of community as family and friends of Warsame made traditional Somali foods and tea and took them to share with campaign staff and friends.
Warsame told delegates of his upbringing in London, U.K. where he first got into politics as a member of the Labor Party. He talked about how his upbringing and experiences have prepared him to bring progressivism to the City of Minneapolis.
One delegate, who was not Somali, asked Warsame of his stance on gay marriage. Warsame told the woman that he personally believed that marriage was between a man and a woman, according to his Muslim faith. However, Warsame also went on to say that marriage equality was law and that he would fight for equal rights for all. Warsame said he would fight against all forms of bigotry.
Delegates only needed one round of balloting to decide who they would endorse. Warsame won the endorsement by 95 percent, as Somali delegates chanted “Abdi!” over and over again.
All the candidates for Mayor also showed up to the caucus to interact with the community and to ask delegates for their vote at the DFL City Convention on July 8, 2017.