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Noor challenges DFLer Kahn for seat in Legislature

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A Minneapolis School Board member only a month into his tenure says he's going to challenge a senior member of the Minnesota House for the DFL endorsement. 

Mohamud Noor says he's running against state Rep. Phyllis Kahn because he wants the Legislature to focus more attention on reducing the achievement gap in public schools. He said he also thinks he could better connect with members of the East African community and students on the University of Minnesota campus.

"I respect all of the contributions that Phyllis Kahn has made in our state. She's been an active voice," Noor said. "But I think we're lacking that connection for the new Americans," and students.

In response, Kahn touted her experience in DFL leadership and said she has the backing of several key Somali groups and politicians, including new elected city council member Abdi Warsame. Kahn also said Noor would be better served by committing to his newly held position on the Minneapolis School Board.

"I am in a leadership position and will continue in a leadership position and he will be as far removed as you can be as far removed as you possibly can be from a leadership position," she said.

Kahn was first elected in 1972 and is tied for having the most seniority of anyone currently serving in the Minnesota Legislature. This is Noor's second attempt to run for the Legislature. He lost in a DFL primary for a Minnesota Senate seat in 2011.