Looking closer at the pair of special elections for state senate in Minnesota that will be held today, the most interesting candidacy may be that of Green Party national co-chair Farheen Hakeem.
Facing a Democrat, Republican and Independence Party candidate, you might expect Hakeem to get lost in the shuffle. But she has been a proven vote getter when running at the local level.
Hakeem was born in Chicago in 1975, while both of her parents were born and raised in Hyderabad, India. She became involved with the Green Party in 2002 and by 2005 was their candidate for mayor of Minneapolis. Running a spirited race, Hakeem finished third city-wide, polling 14% of the total. In some precincts, Hakeem actually outpolled all 11 of the other candidates on the ballot.
The American-born Muslim activist remained active within the Green Party and posted impressive vote totals in her races for Hennepin County Commissioner (33% in 2006) and a seat in the state house (30% in 2008).
More than 2,000 Democrats voted in the special state senate primary earlier this year, with six Democratic candidates on the ballot. State representative Jeff Hayden captured the DFL nomination and has raised over $40,000 to date. Bruce Lundeen won the Republican nomination uncontested, with 54 votes and Matt Brillhart captured the Independence Party nod with 23 votes.
Lundeen was a Republican candidate for Minneapolis City Council back in 2009, but looking deeper it turns out that he finished a distant last place with only 3% of the vote. Including Minnesota’s public subsidy, Hakeem’s campaign had raised $10,969 as of a week before the election. Meanwhile, Lundeen’s campaign had raised only $2,690.
It will be worth watching the results tonight as it seems entirely possible that Hakeem could poll second place tonight.