First Somali American candidate for Ohio House ready to meet priorities

Education, infrastructure and health care are top priorities for the first Somali American from Ohio to win a major party nomination in the state.

Munira Abdullahi won her race as a Democrat in the 9e State House District Primary by more than 67% of the vote over opponent Paul Filippelli. She says she is ready to work on her priorities.

“I don’t think it’s fair that because of your postcode you don’t have the right to a quality institution, a quality education,” says Abdullahi.

Abdullahi, 26, was born in a refugee camp in Kenya. She moved with her family to Columbus, Ohio when she was five years old and grew up in the northeast of the city. She graduated from Columbus Alternative High School, then earned a degree in political science and international relations from The Ohio State University in 2019.

Abdullahi knows it will be difficult to work with the Republican majority in the Ohio House.

“It will be difficult, but I don’t think it will be impossible,” says Abdullahi. “Some might say I’m naive, but I believe we can find solutions to these issues which I believe are bipartisan.”

Abdullahi credits his parents for inspiring his goals. She also wants to make health care and medication more affordable because, as a person with type 1 diabetes, she has struggled with high insulin prices and medical bills.

“Working in nonprofits made me realize that a lot of these problems that we’re trying to solve, we’re just putting band-aids on things and most of them stem from bad legislation,” says Abdullahi. “So I decided why not tackle the root issues if I want to help more people.”

Abdullahi is not facing a Republican opponent in the Nov. 8 election, making it almost certain that she will take office in January.

Comments are closed.