Three Black women make Minnesota Senate history

Coming up at 9 a.m. Monday

Three Black women smile for a posed photo
Minnesota senators-elect Clare Oumou Verbeten (from left), Erin Maye Quade and Zaynab Mohamed pose for a portrait inside the Kling Public Media Center in St. Paul on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

In 164 years of Minnesota statehood, no Black woman had ever served in the Minnesota Senate. That changes in a big way starting Tuesday, Jan. 3.

In November, Minnesota voters elected three Black women to the state Senate. All three are DFLers. One is the youngest woman ever elected to the state senate. 

Ahead of Tuesday’s start of the new legislative session, we listen back to MPR News host Angela Davis’s conversation with the three new state senators. They talk about what drew them to politics, their goals for the upcoming term and the perspective they’ll bring to the chamber.


  • Zaynab Mohamed, 25, is senator-elect for Minnesota Senate District 63, which includes parts of south Minneapolis. 

  • Erin Maye Quade, 36, is senator-elect for Minnesota Senate District 56, which includes Apple Valley and parts of Rosemount and Eagan.   

  • Clare Oumou Verbeten, 27, is senator-elect for Minnesota Senate District 66, which includes Roseville, Lauderdale, Falcon Heights and parts of St. Paul. 

Gain a Better Understanding of Today

MPR News is not just a listener supported source of information, it's a resource where listeners are supported. We take you beyond the headlines to the world we share in Minnesota. Become a sustainer today to fuel MPR News all year long.