Meet the 6 former-refugee winners of last week's elections

Top row: Abdi Warsame, Kathy Tran, AK Hassan. Bottom row: Zak Idan, Wilmot Collins, Fartun Ahmed.

Top row: Abdi Warsame, Kathy Tran, AK Hassan.
Bottom row: Zak Idan, Wilmot Collins, Fartun Ahmed.

4 Somali-American candidates swept elections across the state of Minnesota:

  • Abdi Warsame won a seat on City Council in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Abdulkadir Hassan won a seat on the Park and Recreation Board in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
  • Fartun Ahmed won a seat on the Hopkins School Board in Hopkins, Minnesota.
  • Zak Idan won a seat on City Council in the city of Tukwila, Washington.

4 Somali-Americans Win Local Elections


Kathy Tran won the seat for District 42 of the Virginia House of Delegates, the lower house of Virginia's state legislature. Tran will represent approximately 79,964 people living just outside of Washington D.C. Tran becomes one of the first two Asian-Americans to win this position.

Tran and her parents left Vietnam as boat refugees when she was just 7 months old. Tran’s family sacrificed a lot in order to reach the United States and they believed that the country “represented hope, opportunity and freedom.”

Vietnamese Refugee Now One of the First Asian American Women Elected to Virginia's State House


Wilmot Collins won the race for mayor of Helena, Montana. Collins will represent approximately 28,190 people living in the capital city of the State of Montana. Collins becomes the first Black person to win this position. 

Collins and his wife fled Liberia during the Liberian Civil War, where two of his brothers were killed.

"I arrived in this country with 25 cents in my pocket," Wilmot Collins says. "Do you think I was thinking of ever running for mayor? No! But I worked hard and I had the support of my family, and my community." -Wilmot Collins, Mayor-elect of Helena, MT

Ex-Liberian Refugee Eager to Serve Montana Capital That Elected Him Mayor

Pana San Diego