Rybak endorses Noor over veteran Kahn in Minneapolis House race

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.

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 03/14/2014 - 11:08 am.

    Good choices

    I don’t know Noor and I’m not familiar with his political stance. However, Kahn has been an excellent and community-engaged representative. She regularly checks the pulse of the community, which is more than I can say about any of the other representatives I’ve had in the Twin Cities area (I’ve been in 4 districts since I’ve been here). She would be an excellent choice to continue to represent Minneapolis residents. That being said, there appears to be a lot of trust in Noor and his judgment. I just hope that the people choose the best person, which might just be either one. But I hope that Kahn isn’t cast aside for the wrong reasons, either. (For the record, I agree with Kahn on her criticism of Rybak’s stance on the stadium.)

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