Dem House Candidate Gives Victory Speech In Somali After Primary Victory


Font Size:

Democratic Ohio Rep. Ismail Mohamed, a Somali immigrant, won the Democratic primary for Ohio’s 3rd House District on Tuesday night and delivered his victory speech almost entirety in Somali.

Mohamed, the incumbent in the district, defeated fellow Somali immigrant Abdirizak Diini, capturing 55 percent to Diini’s 33 percent, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The 31-year-old Columbus lawyer became Ohio’s first Somali lawmaker in 2022, alongside Munira Abdullahi, who won in Ohio’s 9th district in 2022 as well.

Mohamed is a Somali refugee who, after originally escaping the violence in his home country and fleeing to Kenya, came to the United States in 2005, he told Spectrum News in 2022. (RELATED: Ron DeSantis Calls For Ilhan Omar To Be Expelled From Congress, Denaturalized And Deported)

Much of his campaign centered on representing his community’s substantial Somali population – Columbus hosts over 45,000 Somalis, second only to fellow Somali refugee Ilhan Omar‘s district in Minnesota – and he even campaigned on a Somali-owned state television network.

Mohamed previously ran unsuccessfully in 2018, falling to then-incumbent Democratic Rep. Bernadine Kennedy Kent in 2018, losing narrowly by just 658 votes, according to the Dispatch. But his 2022 election victory was a landslide, as he won with about 80 percent of the vote, according to the Dispatch.

His policy objectives include funding affordable housing and education. “I want to use my voice to fight for equitable policies, all in the pursuit of a brighter future for every resident across the district and State,” he told the Dispatch.