Another Somali on the verge of making history in America
WASHINGTON - Somalis living in the United States of America have continued to make history, especially in the political arena, a field that seemed to be almost an impossibility a few decades ago due to historical and cultural barriers in the West.
At Maine Legislator, a Somali-American woman from the Democratic Party is poised to break history after one of her challengers dropped out of the race, almost making her the main candidate ahead of November mid-elections in the country.
Recently, Fred Sanborn-Silvers of the rival Grand Old Party [GOP] commonly known as Republican withdrew from the race, clearing the path for Mana Abdi in her bid for Maine House District 95. Another Somali American, South Portland Mayor Deqa Dhalac, is also running for a different House seat.
Should Mana Abdi win the seat, she would automatically make history in the tiny Eastern state of America. Maine is home to thousands of African immigrants with most of them coming from War-torn Somalia, which has been facing unrest for over three decades.
A quick study shows that many Somalis living within the state have settled in Portland and Lewiston-Auburn. Several have held elected municipal positions, but none have been elected to the Legislature.
The late departure of Sanborn-Silvers from the race automatically prevented the Grand Old Party from fielding another candidate in the race since the laws don't permit such a move. The Democratic Party is currently at the helm of power in the US through President Joe Biden.
Sanborn-Silvers indicated on social media that he’s no longer a candidate “due to legal reasons.” He didn’t return an email from The Associated Press seeking comment, CBS news reports.
Sanborn-Silvers drew attention two years when he said on social media that “Muslims should not be allowed to hold public office.” He told Maine Public that it was a misstatement and that legal citizens should be able to run for office.
She will join Ilhan Omar, the Minnesota 5th District representative as some of the Somalis who are making history in the US. For Ms. Omar, she became the first Muslim woman to represent people in Congress, and in November, she will be vying for the third consecutive term.