Welcome to Nobles County: Political representation in the fastest diversifying county in Minnesota

A series of portraits border a photo of a woman holding the U.S. flag.
Aisha Kimbrough (top left), Cheniqua Johnson (top right), Tah So Collah (bottom left), Leticia Rodriguez (center) and Worthington Mayor Mike Kuhle. Nobles County is the most quickly diversifying county in the state.
MPR News photo illustration | Photos by Hannah Yang, MPR News and courtesy of Leticia Rodriguez

Over the past decade, Minnesota has become less white and more diverse. Every county in the state became more diverse over the past decade. Nowhere is that more true than in Nobles County, which is the fastest diversifying county in Minnesota.

What does that mean? Producer Samantha Matsumoto and MPR News host Angela Davis put a human voice to that statistic when they traveled to Worthington, Minn., in September.

Monday’s show featured interviews with two women of color who call Worthington home, plus a demographer on change in Nobles County over decades and how that fits into the changing demographics of the state. 

In part two, host Angela Davis talks about political representation with Worthington’s mayor, a young activist and a Catholic priest who has helped to guide the community for over a decade.


  • Mike Kuhle has been the mayor of Worthington since 2014. He is not seeking another term.

  • Cheniqua Johnson is the lead outreach officer for the Minnesota DFL. She was born and raised in Worthington and is part of a growing community of citizens of color and immigrants in Nobles County.

  • Father Jim Callahan has been the pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Worthington since 2010. 

Use the audio player above to listen to the full conversation.

Subscribe to the MPR News with Angela Davis podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or RSS.

Grow the Future of Public Media

MPR News is supported by Members. Gifts from individuals power everything you find here. Make a gift of any amount today to become a Member!