In his third bid for office, prominent Cedar-Riverside figure Mohamud Noor won the Minnesota State House 60B seat Tuesday night, with 86 percent of the vote.
Noor, who currently serves as the executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota, was elected to represent the district encompassing the University of Minnesota and Como, Marcy-Holmes, Prospect Park and Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods. After Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, defeated him for the seat in 2016, Noor said engaging the entire district would be a priority in his second campaign.
At Noor’s election night event at Mixed Blood Theatre, at which about 40 people gathered, campaign manager Nick Espinosa said the campaign is part of a push to engage the communities in the district.
“There’s a whole new wave of progressive Somali candidates that have been elected recently who are leading this community to be part of a broader progressive movement that unites with other communities, young people, students, folks from all walks of life,” he said.
Noor said student debt and access to education will be among his top issues at the Capitol. He said the district’s high voter turnout was a sign of increased political engagement in the area.
“In the entire district, this is a huge turnout compared to any midterm election," Noor said. "This is not a presidential election, but according to what I saw, it almost mirrored the number of people who voted in the presidential election, so this is significant for our district.”
Noor ran for the Ward 6 City Council seat in 2017. He is also a former board member of Minneapolis Public Schools.
Ahmed Farah, who attended Noor’s election night event at Mixed Blood Theatre, said the biggest issues for Noor to address in office are tuition costs and affordable housing in the district.
“College tuition relief and a way to help students, I think that’s one of the biggest issues because the future depends on the next generation and investing in students,” Farah said. “A lot of students are paying a lot of money right now. There’s got to be a way to fix that problem, and I believe he has the opportunity to fix that problem.”
Noor’s opponent Joe Patiño told the Minnesota Daily in September that he would focus on tuition and housing if elected. Additionally, he said he wanted to reach out to the University’s Greek life community, which he said is often overlooked.
Noor will take office on Jan. 8 on the first day of session.
Correction: A previous version of this article mischaracterized Noor's bid for the office. It is his third time running.