Today, the MN GOP is celebrating the opening of a Somali Community Center in Minneapolis. It is clear, the most recent immigrant communities of Somali and Hmong, and their diaspora, are not politically monolithic. In the 4th Congressional District, against Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN04) who just faced a primary challenge from an Ethiopian candidate in Amane Badhasso, now faces a Republic challenger from the Hmong community in May Lor Xiong (R-MN04).
In the state legislature Samakab Hussein (DFL-65A) is poised to become the first Somali elected official east of the Mississippi river. Also, in St Paul, Sen Foung Hawj (DFL-67, St Paul) will likely be joined in the Senate by Tou Xiong (DFL-44) and potentially Susan Pha (DFL-38).
In Ramsey County, there will be the first Hmong American woman on the Ramsey County Board, because Mai Chong Xiong (DFL-endorsed) and Ying Vang-Pao (DFL) daughter of the famed General Vang Pao are facing off. In this race because there are 18 Hmong clans the community is split and, in some cases, people are supporting both candidates and hedging their bets.
In this race, unlike the Congressional race, Hmong supporters can guarantee their investment will pay off. Since, as we have previously stated the DFL endorsement in this contest was questionable at best because a very small amount of 250 delegates even bothered to show-up and the endorsement was the result of a walkout not an active support base and the problem with of the lack of at least a simple majority quorum requirement of eligible delegates.
The question is whether or not a paper DFL endorsement will prevail over a daughter of a historic icon. This race is worth watching.