Jamal Osman wins Minneapolis City Council Sixth Ward seat

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Jamal Osman has been declared the winner in the Minneapolis City Council Sixth Ward special election held on August 11, 2020. Photo: Courtesy of Jamal Osman Campaign

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

Tom is the President and Publisher of Mshale and chair of the Minnesota Multicultural Media Consortium (MMMC). As Mshale founder, he did a lot of the reporting during the humble beginnings of the newspaper. While he still does the occasional reporting, he now concentrates on the publishing side of the news operation.Tom was also 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 DishNetwork 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 such as the president of  The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh at State House, Banjul. Tom has previously served in the board of directors of Global Minnesota, the sixth largest World Affairs Council in the United States. He has also previously served as President of the Board of Directors of Books for Africa, the largest shipper of donated books to Africa and. He sits on the board of the United Nations Association.

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