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Muslim Seeks to Make History as First Black in Minnesota State Senate

A 24-year-old Muslim woman has announced her plans to run for Minnesota State Senate, seeking to make history as the first Black and youngest woman elected to the Minnesota Senate.

“I’ve walked the halls of the Senate for the past year-and-a-half lobbying for bills, and I never saw myself in there. There’s not a single Black woman,” Zaynab Mohamed told Sahan Journal ahead of her campaign announcement.

“We don’t have representation in the Senate.”

📚 Read Also: US Muslims Celebrate Historic Election Win

Mohamed, a community advocate with the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is running to replace retiring state Senator Patricia Torres Ray.

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Ray made history in 2006 as the first Latina to serve in the Minnesota Senate.

Zaynab received her first endorsement from an elected official Wednesday morning from Robin Wonsley Worlobah, a Democratic Socialist and incoming Minneapolis City Council representative in Ward 2.

“I’m so excited to support her in becoming Minnesota’s first Black woman, Muslim, and Socialist State Senator,” Wonsley Worlobah said in a tweet.


Describing the decision to run for office as a difficult one, Zaynab said that after having many conversations with friends, family, Torres Ray, and other people in the organizing community, she said she felt like it was a need.

“People were calling and saying ‘I think you should run for this seat,’” Zaynab said. “I had somebody who I had never met message me on Twitter and say: ‘I’ve lived in Senate District 63 for over 26 years and I think you should run.’”

The district includes south Minneapolis neighborhoods like Longfellow, Howe, Minnehaha, and parts of Nokomis. It also includes the Minneapolis–St. Paul airport and a northeast section of Richfield. 

US Muslims celebrated historic win in November elections.

In Michigan, three Muslim mayors have been elected in addition to an all-Muslim city council in Hamtramck.

Two Muslim teenagers also made history in Connecticut in November after winning their respective elections for the Hamden Board of Education and the Hamden Town Council.