Several women are currently fighting tooth and nail to become the first Black woman to serve in the Minnesota Senate. Marla Helseth, Farhio Khalif, Erin Maye Quade, Zaynab Mohamed, and Clare Oumou Verbeten have a chance to make history in November.
“Since day one, this campaign has been about making life easier, not harder, for working-class and middle-class Minnesotans,” Mohamed tweeted. “Thanks to you, I am humbled and honored to say that I am the DFL nominee for Minnesota Senate in District 63! #EasierNotHarder”
As reported by the Sahan Journal, Mohamed won the state senate district 63 primary election Tuesday night. Both Mohamed and Verbeten are in districts considered “safe” for Democrats, making it likely at least two Black women will be seated in the state senate next term.
Verbeten is running to represent state senate district 66. While Verbeten didn’t have a competitive primary, the candidate reportedly spent time helping the others clinch victory.
A former state representative, Quade made headlines earlier this year for giving a key election speech while in labor. Neither her opponent Justin Emmerich nor any other official at the April DFL convention attempted to postpone for Quade. Despite losing the DFL’s endorsement to Emmerich she prevailed Tuesday night winning with nearly 65 percent of the vote.
Running to represent state senate district 37, Khalif recently nabbed an endorsement from the state’s SEIU chapter and the Minnesota Nurses Association. Khalif will face Republican state Sen. Warren Limmer in November.
Helseth, who is the only Republican among the group, will face Democrat Steve Cwodzinski in the race for Minnesota’s senate district 49. She told local news Kare 11 that she hopes her run leads the way for others.
Zuki Ellis, a member of the St. Paul Public Schools board, did not prevail in the three way Democratic primary on Tuesday.
Hilda’s Hiltsley, who ran against former City Council Liaison Susan Pha in District 38, also did not prevail in her race. But her campaign broke through the traditional notions of who could be in politics.
“For the longest time, I didn’t see myself in politics … and I think a part of it was because I didn’t see myself in there. I didn’t see someone I could relate to, I could connect with,” Hiltsley told Kare 11. “Regardless of what happens…we are all proud of the work that we’ve put in.”