Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Portland man hopes to be the first Somali immigrant in the Maine Legislature

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Portland man is hoping to be the first Somali immigrant to join the Maine legislature.

Mohammed Dini announced his candidacy as a Democrat for District 119 Friday. That's the district that includes Portland's Parkside, Bayside and Kennedy Park neighborhoods. He's running to replace Herb Adams, who is leaving his seat because of term limits.

Dini, who moved to Maine from Somalia in 1997, says low income neighborhoods are not well represented in the legislature. He'd like to see a bigger focus on helping disadvantaged youth with education, and on bringing jobs to the city proper.

Dini is running against Jill Barkley in the District 119 Democratic primary on June 8. She has been an activist on domestic violence and gay rights issues. She says that experience has prepared her to work with people of diverse backgrounds as well and as a lawmaker, she wants to focus on job growth.

Both candidates are expected to attend the League of Young Voters' Candidate Mixer at the North Star Cafe on Monday at 5 p.m.

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