Minneapolis suburb elects 27 year-old Somali American mayor

November 8, 2023

ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. (AP) — A suburban Minneapolis city became what is believed to be the first in the U.S. to elect a Somali American mayor when 27-year-old Nadia Mohamed was chosen to lead St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

“This is a milestone. This is not the destination,” Mohamed told supporters after the results came in Tuesday. “As mayor, I want to ensure people see themselves reflected in our policies.”

Mohamed won with 58% of the vote, defeating retired banker Dale A. Anderson, who got 41% of the vote. She had served on the City Council since she was elected at age 23 in 2019.

Deqa Dhalac of South Portland, Maine, was the first Somali American to serve as mayor of an American city, but she was selected by that city’s six-member council in 2021, not elected by the voters.

Mohamed campaigned in support of investing in community policing and programs to make homeownership more affordable. Mayor Jake Spano did not seek re-election, and he endorsed Mohamed.

Mohamed spoke Tuesday night about her mother’s journey to settle in St. Louis Park, giving her the confidence to enter politics at a young age.

“I have watched a courageous woman handle her business every day,” Mohamed said. “That courage comes easy to me now.”