Incumbent Warsame wins in Ward 6

Incumbent City Council Member Abdi Warsame is the unofficial winner in the Ward 6 race.

Warsame earned 3,629 first-choice votes of 7,234 total votes cast for the office (50.2 percent). Challenger Mohamud Noor earned 3,390 votes (46.9 percent), and Fadumo Yusuf earned 183.

Abdi Warsame web“Thank you to everyone who volunteered,” Warsame wrote on Facebook. “Even if you only got one person out, every vote mattered. Truly grateful to all those who supported me in this race. I look forward to serving everyone in the Ward 6 community for the next 4 years.”

In an interview, Warsame said it was a long and drawn-out campaign. Over 400 people showed up for his election night party, he said.

“Regardless of slogans, if you look at what we did in our first term, it was probably the most progressive council the city of Minneapolis has ever had,” he said. He added that he was proud of the Safe & Sick Time ordinance and new Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center.

“It was an incredibly first term, all the while learning the enterprise and how to navigate the city bureaucracy,” he said.

Warsame said the election was more about the national feeling, noting huge turnout in his ward. He said he thinks people wanted to send a message after the election of President Trump last year.

He said he’s excited to work with mayor-elect Jacob Frey, whom he support in his campaign to unseat incumbent Betsy Hodges.

“We’re from the same generation,” Warsame said of Frey. “He cares about the issues that matter to my ward and to a lot of my constituents.”

In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Noor said he we won in every precinct Tuesday night and earned twice as many votes as Warsame. He wrote that he believed Warsame’s lead was the result of “alleged illegal behavior including bringing voters from outside Minneapolis to participate in our elections, and campaigning at multiple poll locations.”

“Many locations had more people voting from that address than could lawfully occupy the residence,” he wrote. On Thursday, he asked on Facebook for people to message him if they witnessed inappropriate behavior during the election.

When asked about the allegations, Warsame said he thinks it’s unfortunate that these types of stories come out whenever there is a race within the East African community. He said he hasn’t hear about any incidents of complaints.

“We have to respect the will of the people,” he said. “We had a tough race. It was close, but there were no precincts or early votes with reports of wrongdoing.”

Warsame, former executive director of the Riverside Plaza Tenants Association, campaigned in part on standing up to bigotry and protecting the rights of new Americans in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. He touted accomplishments in housing and renter relief, parks and streets and reducing inequality, among other areas, on his campaign website.

“The municipal government experience I’ve gained over the last four years and the pathways I’ve found to success on addressing some of the city’s toughest issues will allow me to immediately start work on finding solutions to more of them,” he wrote in a questionnaire submitted to The Journal and Southwest Journal.

Warsame raised $161,806 between Jan. 1, 2014, and Oct. 24, 2017, according to his campaign finance reports. He received endorsements from the DFL and Minnesota Nurses Association, among other groups.

Noor, executive director of the nonprofit Confederation of Somali Communities, received endorsements from the Bernie Sanders-inspired group Our Revolution Minnesota and the progressive network Take Action MN, among others. He criticized Warsame for not representing all residents of Ward 6, claiming that Warsame didn’t push hard enough on issues such as raising the minimum wage and police reform.

“I will focus on being a progressive leader that Ward 6 has lacked over the last three and a half years,” he wrote in the The Journal and Southwest Journal questionnaire.