For many voters in the University of Minnesota area, seeing Mohamud Noor shake up the race for District 60B’s state representative seat may seem bewildering. Incumbent Rep. Phyllis Kahn, DFL-Minneapolis, has represented the neighborhoods surrounding the University since 1972 — longer than Noor has been alive. While we welcome Noor’s healthy competition, we believe primary voters should support Kahn.
Kahn has admirably served her district’s residents. While many incumbents may get too comfortable in their position, Kahn’s work ethic has stayed true throughout her 21 terms. She’s long been an advocate for the environment, writing landmark legislation such as the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act in 1975, which she and other lawmakers continue to amend and improve.
As a veteran legislator, she also has the ability to strongly lobby on the University’s behalf. She’s supported freezing undergraduate resident tuition and enacting the DREAM Act.
Her background in science, including degrees in physics and biophysics from Cornell University and Yale University, respectively, also serves as a prime example to University students, especially women, that they should pursue their dreams.
For a political newcomer, Noor has unexpectedly given Kahn one of her toughest races, blocking her from the DFL endorsement earlier this year. We hope this race puts some fight in Kahn that will carry to the primary, and potentially into her 22nd term.
Whoever leads the district has some work to do to soothe issues with residents and the political process. It’s been a troubling campaign in 60B so far, with violence at the caucus and allegations of voter fraud. Before November, the primary winner should show leadership and begin this work.
Ultimately, we encourage all students, faculty and staff to attend the Aug. 12 primary.