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Mana Abdi is running unopposed for Maine House after Republican opponent unexpectedly withdraws

A woman wearing a white shirt holds a clipboard outside a house.
Ari Snider
/
Maine Public
Mana Abdi folds a campaign flyer while canvassing voters in Lewiston's House District 95.

Democratic candidate Mana Abdi, one of two Somali Americans vying for the State House this year, will run unopposed in a competitive House district covering part of Lewiston.

This follows the unexplained withdrawal of her Republican opponent.

Republican Fred Sanborn-Sanders, who had posted on Facebook that Muslims "should not be allowed to hold public office," withdrew from the race Aug. 18, too late for the GOP to try to replace him on the ballot.

That clears the path for Abdi to become the first Somali American elected to the Maine Legislature.

Abdi, who came to the U.S. as a teenager and attended Lewiston public schools, may have some company.

South Portland Mayor Deqa Dhalac, the first Somali American mayor in the U.S., is also running for a House seat. She's facing Republican Michael James Dougherty.