Minnesota made history Tuesday night by electing Black women to the state Senate for the first time in 164 years of statehood.

Democratic candidates Erin Maye Quade, Zaynab Mohamed, and Clare Oumou Verbeten won their races by easy margins against Republican challengers.

Democrat Farhio Khalif lost her race to represent District 37. Marla Helseth, a Republican, lost her bid to represent District 49.

Zaynab, a community activist and policy aide, won in south Minneapolis, a safely Democratic seat. Zaynab, 25, is also the youngest woman elected to the state Senate.

Oumou Verbeten, an equity manager for the City of St. Paul, will represent Roseville and Lauderdale, Falcon Heights, and parts of St. Paul.

Former state representative Maye Quade will return to the state legislature, this time as a senator representing Apple Valley, Rosemount, and the southeastern part of Eagan. 

The group plans to create a caucus for Black women in the Senate after they’re sworn into office in January, Oumou Verbeten said at an October election event.


Hibah Ansari is a reporter for Sahan Journal covering immigration and politics. She was named the 2022 Young Journalist of the Year by the Minnesota Society of Professional Journalists. She’s a graduate...