LEWISTON — Mana Abdi announced her candidacy for the District 95 seat in the Maine House this week, the first Democrat to declare an interest in the district.

“I’m running for the State House because Lewiston deserves safe, affordable, available housing and good jobs,” Abdi said. “I will be a strong and relentless voice for our community in Augusta.”

Mana Abdi Photo submitted

Abdi, a graduate of Lewiston High School and the University of Maine at Farmington, works as a program coordinator at the Bates College Office of Intercultural Education. She previously worked for Disability Rights Maine and the Androscoggin County District Attorney’s Office.

If elected, Abdi would be the first Somali-American to serve in the Legislature.

“I was born in a refugee camp in Kenya, but Lewiston is home,” Abdi said. “This is a great city, and I want to do everything I can to make it even better.”

The 26-year-old moved to Lewiston in 2009 when she was 13. She went to Lewiston Middle School and Lewiston High School, where she ran track as a varsity athlete.


Abdi said she credits her education for her success in life, and will fight for more funding for Lewiston schools as a state legislator.

“Lewiston students deserve better from our state government,” Abdi said. “We shouldn’t have to choose between supporting our students and keeping property taxes down.”

Abdi hopes to succeed Rep. Heidi Brooks, D-Lewiston, who is serving her fourth and final term in the Maine House.

“Representative Brooks has been a passionate and heartfelt advocate for Lewiston,” Abdi said. “I’m proud to have her endorsement and support.”

Abdi said that for her, politics is about service.

“From helping local prosecutors hold criminals accountable, to advocating for rights for disabled Mainers, to supporting first-generation college students at Bates, my work has always been about serving others,” Abdi said. “That’s why I’m running for the Legislature.”

Republican Fred Sanborn-Silvers is another political newcomer seeking to represent District 95.

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