South Portland Mayor Deqa Dhalac made a late entry into the race for Maine Home District 120 this week — and has the possibility to turn out to be the primary Somali-American elected to the state legislature.
Dhalac received a South Portland Democratic caucus on Thursday, which was known as after incumbent Democrat Victoria Morales withdrew from the race.
Morales endorsed Dhalac to take her place on the poll.
Dhalac, who was born in Somalia, mentioned she desires to be a voice in Augusta for immigrant communities.
“And likewise those that are marginalized, to see that there’s someone that may be their voice on the state stage,” she mentioned.
Morales has held the South Portland State Home seat for 2 phrases. However Morales, who can be the chief director of the High quality Housing Coalition, mentioned it was laborious to maintain legislative work on prime of a full-time job and caring for her household.
Deqa Dhalac fled Somalia within the early Nineteen Nineties as struggle broke out and settled within the coastal metropolis in 2008 after discovering a job in social work.
She mentioned that’s a typical problem.
“It’s difficult for anybody who works, I believe that’s only a message that I hope form of will get carried, that we actually want to consider find out how to make the legislature an equal department of presidency, and that features funding it,” she mentioned.
Throughout her time within the legislature, Morales centered partly on points referring to legal justice reform and housing.
Dhalac made historical past final yr when she turned the primary Somali-American mayor within the nation.
She is one in every of two Somali-American girls in search of State Home seats this yr — the opposite is Mana Abdi, who’s operating for the District 95 seat in Lewiston.
Dhalac will face Republican Michael Dougherty in November.
This story seems via a media partnership with Maine Public.