First Somali-American Wins Seat On Lewiston City Council

Nov 6, 2019

PORTLAND, Maine - Residents in Lewiston, Maine, have elected the first Somali-American to the City Council.

Safiya Khalid, 23, soundly defeated a fellow Democrat on Tuesday.  The Bangor Daily News reports that Khalid called her campaign proof that "community organizers beat internet trolls."

Fleeing war and famine, Somalis began settling two decades ago in Lewiston, which has about 36,000 residents. The city, Maine's second-largest, is now home to more than 5,000 Africans.

Several cities including Lewiston and Portland elected mayors on Tuesday.

There were only two issues on the statewide ballot. Mainers approved a $105 million transportation bond proposal and a constitutional amendment that ensures people who can't sign their names can still show support for referendum ballot petitions.