The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

November 6, 2013

Somali-American wins Minneapolis council seat

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Voters in Minneapolis have sent a Somali-American to their City Council for the first time, a sign of the immigrant community's growing strength in the city.

Abdi Warsame took 64 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election, well ahead of incumbent Robert Lilligren.

Both the Star Tribune and Minnesota Public Radio reported that Warsame will become the highest-ranking elected Somali-American in the U.S. when he takes office.

Warsame, 35, left Somalia as a child and spent much of his life in England. He moved to Minneapolis in 2006 and heads a tenant association in a Minneapolis high-rise that is home to some 4,000 East Africans, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is home to the highest concentration of Somali immigrants in the United States.

"I'm an American who happens to be Somali. ... This is my base and I'm proud of that," Warsame said during a celebration to watch election returns. "But I'm here to represent everyone in my ward. If I don't, I will have failed."

He got involved in politics in 2011, working on the unsuccessful state Senate campaign of Mohamud Noor.

Warsame said he wants to address the concerns facing his community, including jobs, roads, housing and young people who need mentors.

He built a ground operation of hundreds of East African volunteers. They mobilized about 1,500 supporters to cast early ballots, giving them a significant edge going into Election Day.

Lilligren tried to show that he could connect with East African voters even if he didn't share the same cultural background. Voter turnout in the ward increased significantly since the 2009 race, and Warsame won with three times as many votes as Lilligren got in his last election.

Seven new members will be sworn in next year to the City Council.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • Hypersonic jets, lasers future for Air Force researchers WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — Air Force hypersonic weapons and fighter jets with lasers could fly in the skies of the future. Air Force Research Laboratory researchers have made top priorities of hypersonics, directed-energy weapons and au

    April 16, 2014

  • Dress codes: Where should schools set limits? EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — They're called leggings — popular fashion items that are tight-fitting pants to some, and glorified tights to others. Younger girls often wear them as pants with little fuss. But as those same girls approach middle school, legg

    April 16, 2014

  • On Vegas Strip, the Harmon tower set to fall -- with a whimper LAS VEGAS — One by one, the grand old dames of the Strip outlived their charms — the Dunes, Stardust and Aladdin — and down they came, thanks to some well-rigged dynamite, in a booming flash of bravado and showmanship that became this city’s staple —

    April 16, 2014

  • Man accused of abusing 2 girls in 'Maidens Group' MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities were searching Tuesday for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in a "Maidens Group" at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota, where he told one victim she would remain a virgin

    April 15, 2014

  • Deputy shot, wounded in Norman County PERLEY, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say a 19-year-old man from Fertile is under arrest for shooting a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop in northwestern Minnesota. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension says the Norman County deputy was wear

    April 15, 2014

  • Red River Valley touted as drone industry center THIEF RIVER FALLS (AP) — Dozens of representatives from agriculture, aviation and higher education are meeting in northwestern Minnesota to discuss ways to promote the region as a center for development of the aircraft industry which produces unmanne

    April 15, 2014

  • Balancing Act: The secret weapon behind work life balance We all struggle for work life balance, but most of us don’t realize that sometimes the path toward achieving might be something so simple. Some of the most successful people I know are sharing their secret weapon for remaining strong and finding bal

    April 15, 2014

  • Police: Suspected killers wore GPS devices ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Two convicted sex offenders dutifully checked in with police every month and wore their GPS trackers around the clock — the rules of parole that are designed to tip off authorities if a freed felon backslides. Yet for at least

    April 15, 2014

  • More US consumers are seeking medical care, report shows A historic slowdown in U.S. health care spending in recent years may be drawing to a close. An industry report published this week and health care experts point to a steady rise in medical care being sought by consumers seeing specialists, getting m

    April 15, 2014

  • Man sentenced to 20 years in synthetic drug case FARGO, N.D. (AP) — One of 15 people to plead guilty in a synthetic drug conspiracy that resulted in the overdose deaths of two teenagers has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Casey Rosen (row-ZEEN') pleaded guilty in January 2013 to conspiracy to

    April 14, 2014

Press-Plus Subscribe
Sign In
Featured Ads
AP Video