Former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak publicly endorsed Mohamud Noor Thursday in the contentious state House race in Minneapolis’ District 60B.
Noor, a Minneapolis School Board member, is challenging longtime state Rep. Phyllis Kahn for the DFL endorsement, in a race that featured a fight at a February precinct caucus.
After the ruckus, the caucus was reconvened with added security two weeks later, and Noor, with much support from the Somali community, emerged with a 2-1 lead in delegates from that location.
Rybak, who had been a convener at the second caucus, said in a statement:
“I have come to know Mohamud Noor as someone with a quality all too rare in politics — he is a very good listener. That is especially important in a district that spans so many diverse communities. Mohamud Noor is our best choice for bringing all our voices together — in debates at the Capitol and in the community — and getting us working together for the common good.”
Noor posted news of the Rybak endorsement on his Facebook page and acknowledged the support in a statement:
“I am deeply honored to have the support of R.T. Rybak. He has been an inspiration to me in my political career and I look forward to building on his progressive legacy in Minneapolis and Minnesota.”
Noor works as executive director of the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota. Well-known Somali-American Minneapolis City Council Member Abdi Warsame, though, supports Kahn.
Party delegates will meet April 5 to consider the endorsement.
Eric Roper of the Star Tribune notes that Kahn and Rybak have skirmished in the past:
Kahn and Rybak have had their political differences. In 2012, she penned an op-ed for MinnPost comparing the mayor to Nixon for his waving stance on stadium subsidies. Rybak signed onto a letter in 2012 asking for Kahn to apologize for saying “someone at the city should be executed” for election day voting lines. In 2011, they were on opposite sides of a debate over Neighborhood Revitalization Program.