DFL State Rep. Phyllis Kahn failed to win endorsement for a 22nd term at her district convention Saturday in Minneapolis, setting up a primary contest with Minneapolis School Board member Mohamud Noor.
After several rounds of balloting neither candidate had clinched the support of 60 percent of the delegates.
Delegates to the district's endorsing convention concluded the evening by voting to not endorse a candidate, pushing the contest into a primary.
"It's a harder race in this district, but I expect to win it," said Kahn. "I've won contested primaries before."
Noor took heart from denying Kahn the endorsement.
"This energy is what we need in the election," he said. "This is the energy we need to win for the DFL."
The district in question includes the University of Minnesota and the Cedar-Riverside community of Minneapolis, home to a large Somali population.
Kahn has backing from Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, and Minneapolis City Councilman Abdi Warsame, the highest ranking Somali-American in public office in Minnesota.
Noor, meanwhile, has pulled in support from important political players, including former Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and former state Rep. Matt Entenza.