A Split DFL

 The race to represent District 60B continues to heat up

phyllis khan2 - kellen renstrom

Photographer: Kellen Renstrom

Ilhan Omar is emerging as the frontrunner for the District 60B race in the State House of Representatives. She is a progressive voice, and would be the first Somali-American woman to serve in the House.
On April 9, she secured 55 percent of the delegate vote, but not the required 60 percent in order to win the DFL endorsement at the convention. Many roadblocks were thrown in Omar’s way during the proceedings of the convention, which must now go to a primary election.

University of Minnesota students have a lot at stake.

Whoever is elected is the student and University voice in the House. Everything from the tuition we pay to the funding we receive is vocalized and fought for by our district representative.

Felicia Philibert, 19 and a student intern for Omar’s campaign, described the convention as “pathetic” because she felt “the student voice was being blatantly disenfranchised.” Philibert was at the convention as a delegate to endorse Omar.

Whoever is elected is the student and University voice in the House.

This year’s race for the 60B House seat is incredibly contested. District 60B represents The University of Minnesota, Dinkytown, Marcy Holmes, parts of Como, and the Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods, and three candidates are fighting to be its representative.

phyllis khan - photo by Sonia Neculescu (via kellen renstrom)

Photographer: Sonia Neculescu

Mohamud Noor was forced to drop out after it was clear he could not secure enough of the vote. Yet, his supporters stayed and voted to abstain in order to keep an endorsement from happening.

After a 14-hour battle, incumbent Phyllis Kahn received 33 percent of the delegates. Kahn is vying for her 23rd consecutive term.
The primary is set for August 9 when many students are not on campus due to summer break. So, although Omar received the majority of votes at the convention, she could still fall to Kahn or Noor if she does not receive the needed support on the day of the primary.

Sonia Neculescu, 19-year-old volunteer with Omar’s campaign, said the day was “discouraging,” but that she is “ready to get to work,” in regards to the primary.