Due to the untimely death of Diane Loeffler, those of us in MN District 60A are electing a new state representative.

As Naomi Kritzer notes, most of the action is in the 1/21 primary - we're a pretty “blue” district (the last GOP member to run here, Kelly Winsor, lost by a wide margin), and the only non-Democrat running is Legal Marijuana Now candidate (and Bernie Sanders fan) Marty Super.

That said, here's who's running for the DFL nomination:


Mohamed Issa Barre


A Somali immigrant, Hennepin County Community Service Officer, and photographer, Barre's website isn't the most elaborate: he emphasizes health care access, public education, and “equity… the legacy of our past representative: Diana [sic] Loeffler.”

Barre's main focus seems to be on representing Somali-Americans (and other underrepresented groups) in the House - as he told Sahan Journal: “As an immigrant, as a Muslim, as someone considered African, my intention is to show that we are simply another family in the neighborhood”.

Piyali Nath Dalal


Dalal is a stay-at-home mom and daughter of Indian immigrants; though she clearly has some policy background (having a Masters’ in Public Policy), her site only mentions a few broad areas of focus: protecting vulnerable populations, increasing affordable housing, making childcare and quality education more available, and environmental protection.

Boldest proposal: all new housing developments in the district would have to include Sesion 8 housing.

Minneapolis 2040 support: “no comment

Amal Ibrahim


Ibrahim seems to be following in the footsteps of Ilhan Omar (whose campaign she worked on): she's also a Somali immigrant and avowed democratic socialist, with a focus on taxing the rich while increasing wages and strengthening unions.

Her most radical proposals:

  • “a high speed public broadband system that provides high speed internet access to everyone in the state”
  • “a state bank to replace predatory lending institutions and generate revenue for our state’s budget” (a la the Bank of North Dakota - though it looks like Wefel has also endorsed this idea)

Endorsed by: Our Revolution Twin Cities

Jessica Intermill


Intermill is a lawyer specializing in tribal and Indian law who touts her Nordeast cred: married at Columbia Manor, now a member of NEIC and Fair State.

She seems particularly aware of trans* and other equite issues, though she admits that (as a white ciswoman) she hasn't dealt with most of them firsthand.

Her boldest proposal: “Oregon-style rent control”.

Sydney Jordan


Jordan has a strong union background: she's a former Minneapolis Federation of Teachers organizer and child of union organizers/members.

She's also maybe the most pro-environment - currently serving as director of Save the Boundary Waters.

Endorsed by: AFSCME Council 5, Education Minnesota

Sonia Neculescu


Neculescu is another daughter of immigrants (from Romania), and the seems to be the youngest candidate (at 22), but is already a veteran of several campaigns (for Omar and Dehn).

She also seems to have the most first-hand experience with our housing shortage: she's a renter, and her website leads with the fact that she was “priced out of Como” as a student.

She's also very pro-transit (and fan of the #11 and Green Line), stating that “Our long-term transportation plan shouldn’t be centered around personal vehicles”, and supports free public transit (!)

Also worth noting: the only (?) site with a Spanish version.

Endorsed by: TCDSA, Rep. Ilhan Omar, Nelsie Yang and Mitra Jalali

Aaron Neumann


Neumann seems to be the biggest booster (for better or worse) of the Arts District-ification of Northeast, as both a realtor and gallery owner (though “Don't Uptown Northeast” is - paradoxically? - also part of his platform).

Boldest proposal: tuition-free MnSCU

Nordeast Cred: has run the Hotdish Revolution on and off for years; best hipster mustache of the candidates

Aswar Rahman


Rahman is Bangladeshi-born and seems to be the most education-focused in the race (he has both teacher- and student-focused policy sections); his most distinctive policies seek to resolve school funding issues by increasing per-pupil funding, indexing funding to inflation, and placing and emphasis on special ed services (one of the reasons cited by MPS for their current budget shortfall).

Nordeast Cred: Sheridan alum who's experienced Polish Mass at Holy Cross; has a “Brewers” policy section, advocating “growler reform” and “vessel size expansion”

Saciido Shaie


The third Somali-American in the race, Shaie's biggest claim to fame is as founder of the Ummah Project, which is seeking to build a Muslim-friendly recreation/wellness center.

Her Issues Page is pending.

Zachary Wefel


Wefel is a housing attorney and prolific Twitter urbanist, so it's no surprise that a number of his proposals (promoting tenant-owned housing co-ops; statewide zoning reform including eliminating parking minimums and single-family zoning) are housing/zoning related, that he's the only candidate who prominently advocates for “road diets”, or that he's (mildly) critical of the 2040 plan as passed (particularly the compromises on density along transit routes and fourplexes).

Boldest proposal (other than those above): legalizing the “Idaho Stop” (aka stop-as-yield)

Northeast Cred: co-founder of the Minnesota Tool Library

Susan Whitaker


Whitaker is “a lifelong resident” of Northeast… like Diane Loeffler.

She works for Hennepin County… like Diane Loeffler.

In the absence of any standout policies, her campaign seems to be focused on the fact that she is, broadly, like Diane Loeffler (not necessarily a bad thing).

Northeast Cred: Holy Cross parishioner, founder of the Marshall Terrace Neighborhood Organization

Other Resources

Inspired by the great local election summaries of Naomi Kritzer and Ryan Ricard