LEWISTON, Maine (AP) – A city in Maine that is home to thousands of African newcomers has elected a Somali American to its city council.
Safiya Khalid (sah-FEE’-yah kah-LEED’) soundly defeated a fellow Democrat on Tuesday for a seat on the Lewiston City Council.
She says her victory is proof that “community organizers beat internet trolls.”
The 23-year-old Khalid was subject of social media criticism and threats, much of it originating outside Maine.
A photo of Khalid flipping off the camera when she was 15 and an audio recording of a local Democratic leader taunting her opponent were featured in the attacks.
Somalis fleeing war and famine began settling two decades ago in Maine’s second-largest city. Lewiston is now home to more than 5,000 Africans.