“A moment of a lifetime”: Nadia Mohamed celebrated her historic election as the nation’s first Somali American mayor in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The suburban city marked a significant milestone, being the first in the U.S. to elect a Somali American mayor, as 27-year-old Nadia Mohamed assumed this role.
In her post-election address to supporters, Mohamed emphasized, “This is a milestone. This is not the destination.” She expressed her commitment as mayor to ensure that people see themselves reflected in the city’s policies.
Nadia Mohamed secured victory with 58% of the vote, surpassing retired banker Dale A. Anderson, who received 41% of the vote. Her political journey began when she was elected to the City Council at the age of 23 in 2019.
Nadia Mohamed’s election made history in St. Louis Park, as she became the first Somali American to be elected mayor in the United States. Approximately 59% of voters chose Mohamed as their first-choice mayor, effectively defeating Dale A. Anderson. Her acceptance speech took place at the Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park on Tuesday evening, where she expressed deep gratitude for the support she received throughout the campaign.
During her campaign, Mohamed pledged to represent the entire city, prioritize the needs of future homeowners, and restore accountability and transparency within the community. Her family’s immigration to the U.S. occurred when she was just 10 years old, and she has been serving as a council member since 2020.
In her address, Mohamed reminded everyone that her election marked a milestone, not the final destination, and she eagerly anticipated the work yet to be done as mayor. She reflected on her time as a city council member, calling it “the honor of a lifetime.”
Nadia Mohamed garnered endorsements from numerous state and city leaders, including the current Mayor Jake Spano and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan. In 2019, she was elected to the city council at the age of 23 and later decided to launch a mayoral campaign after serving for four years.
Her campaign journey was not without challenges, as she faced critics who targeted her young age and Somali heritage on social media. Mohamed acknowledged the presence of hate in some quarters, with individuals reluctant to embrace diversity.
However, her victory on Tuesday unequivocally affirmed her place and her commitment to the community. As she declared, “If you don’t want to share, you can go somewhere else, but I’m staying here.”
Nadia Mohamed also recognized the unique circumstances of her leadership, entering the position during a period of heightened antisemitism and anti-Muslim bias across the country.