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This Woman Campaigns to Be Maine’s First Somali-American Lawmaker

Running for House District 95, young Muslim woman Mana Abdi is campaigning to become Maine’s first Somali-American lawmaker.

Coming to the US as a child, Abdi was born in a refugee camp. She graduated from the University of Maine at Farmington and now works at the Office of Intercultural Education at Bates College.

Preparing for the elections, she has been knocking doors to meet neighbors and hand out campaign flyers in the diverse neighborhood.

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“I’m out here just introducing myself to voters, saying hello, and possibly giving some literature,” she said to one of the residents on her list, Bangor Daily News reported.

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As a candidate, Abdi plans to increase funding for public education. She also wants to improve housing quality and affordability.

“And the best way to ensure that we take care of our schools is ensuring that our teachers get proper pay, but also proper resources in terms of the school itself, the infrastructure itself,” Abdi said.

Abdi is one of two Somali-American State House candidates this year, along with South Portland Mayor Deqa Dhalac.

Running for office, she hopes to join a list of many Somalian American Muslims who have achieved political success.

Earlier this year, Hamse Warfa joined President’s Joe Biden administration, making history as the first Somali American presidential appointee in US history.

Ilhan Omar made history in 2018 when she became the first Somali-American elected to the US Congress.

Somali American Muslim Deqa Dhalac also made history in December, 2021 after being elected as the mayor of Maine’s fourth largest city, three years after being elected to the city council.