Zaynab Mohamed Image Credit: KARE 11

Zaynab Mohamed Makes History As Youngest Black Woman in Minnesota Senate Elections


Minnesota elected the youngest Black woman to work in the Senate during a historic election night on Tuesday. 

Soon-to-be-Senator Zaynab Mohamed was elected in Senate District 63, the district that covers the southern area of Minnesota, where she got 86% of the 97% reported votes. Born in 1997, the 25-year-old Gen Z politician beat out Republican Shawn Holster for the title race. 

With her new appointment, Mohamed becomes the youngest woman to ever serve in the Minnesota Senate. 

Born in Somalia, she immigrated to Minneapolis with her family at the age of nine where she grew up in south Minneapolis. As an undergraduate student, she attended the University of Minnesota where she eventually earned a degree in Human Resources.

Mohamed’s career in politics began with an internship with Ayada Leads, a nonprofit that helps Black immigrant women get more involved in politics. She went on to work as a community advocate for the Council on American-Islamic Relations in the state and as policy aide for councilmember Jason Chavez.

Running under campaign topics such as universal health care, public safety and a minimum wage of $15,  Mohamed was endorsed by Patricia Torres Ray, the then-Senator for District 63 after she decided not to run for re-election.

“I’m honored that the people of South Minneapolis have placed their trust in me to serve as their next state senator,” Mohamed said Tuesday night upon winning, per nonprofit media outlet Sahan Journal. “I’m incredibly grateful to my friends, family, campaign staff, and volunteers who made this historic night possible and for the unwavering belief they had in me throughout this campaign.”

“There’s important work ahead and I can’t wait to get to work improving the lives of working Minnesotans,” she added. 

Mohamed was one of three Black women to be elected as part of the Minnesota Senate on Election Day. In the state’s 164-year history, no Black woman has been part of the Senate until  Clare Oumou Verbeten and Erin Maye Quade were elected as Senator alongside Mohamed. In addition to being the first Black women elected, both Verbeten and Quade are also the first Black LGBTQ+ women to earn a place in Minessota’s Senate. 

With their new positions, Verbeten is set to represent District 66, made up of places like Lauderdale and some of St. Paul, while Quade is set to represent District 56 which is composed of cities such as Rosemount and parts of Eagan. 

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