Jamal Osman is the new Minneapolis Sixth Ward City Council following Tuesday’s special election after the city released unofficial results this morning. The city uses Ranked Choice Voting for city elections and needed an extra two days for the tabulation and arrival of mail-in ballots.
The vacant seat drew an original twelve candidates with one Mohamoud Hassan dropping out before candidate forums begun. Going into Election Day on Tuesday, there eleven candidates, seven of them Somali Americans.
The Minneapolis elections office announced via Twitter this morning that after three rounds of voting, Osman emerged tops with 2,795 votes. Two other candidates, AJ Awed and AK Hassan made it out of the first round with Osman with Hassan eliminated in the second round leaving AJ Awed and Jamal Osman. The final tally was 2,795 for Jamal Osman and 2,286 for AJ Awed.
The Sixth Ward seat became vacant back in April when Abdi Warsame was appointed to lead the Minneapolis Public Housing Authority. The earliest opportunity the seat could be filled to comply with state law was this week’s August 11 state primary. The city charter requires a special election to be held within 90 days of a seat being declared vacant but the state only allows special elections to be on the second Tuesday in February, April, May, August and the First Tuesday after the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.
“Thank you to the voters of Ward 6 for electing me as your Council Member! I am excited to get to work for our community at City Hall. Thank you also to the other candidates. I learned from each of you during this campaign and look forward to working with you to make our community stronger,” Osman said in a Facebook posting immediately the unofficial results were announced Friday.
Since the seat became vacant, residents of the Sixth Ward have been without a representative during the COVID-19 pandemic and during the George Floyd murder and resulting civil unrest.
Osman has lived in the Sixth Ward for the last twelve years and works in the affordable housing sector.
The Municipal Canvassing Board will certify the results on August 20 and he will be sworn into office on August 28.
About Tom Gitaa Gitaa
Born and raised in Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa, Tom is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Mshale which has been reporting on the news and culture of African immigrants in the United States since 1995. He has a BA in Business from Metro State University and a Public Leadership Credential from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He was the original host of Talking Drum, the signature current affairs show on the African Broadcasting Network (ABN-America), which was available nationwide in the United States via the Dish Network satellite service. On the show, he interviewed Nobel laureates such as 2004 Nobel Peace prize winner, Professor Wangari Maathai, the first woman from Africa to win the peace prize and heads of states. Tom has served and chaired various boards including Global Minnesota (formerly Minnesota International Center), the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has previously served as the first Black President of the Board of Directors at Books for Africa. He also serves on the boards of New Vision Foundation and the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium. He has previously served two terms on the board of the United Nations Association. An avid runner, he retired from running full marathons after turning 50 and now only focuses on training for half marathons.
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