Nasri Warsame responds to being banned by the DFL

Minneapolis City Council candidate Nasri Warsame held a press conference Thursday responding to being banned from ever seeking the DFL endorsement by demanding an apology and promising to "emerge victorious" in the November election.

The DFL’s executive committee voted to approve bylaws banning Warsame Tuesday, after the organization conducted an investigation into the chaos of the Ward 10 convention that concluded Warsame’s campaign was responsible for the conflicts that emerged after his supporters rushed toward the stage when incumbent Aisha Chughtai was about to speak

Warsame shot back, saying the DFL investigation was biased because they did not interview his supporters or consult enough leaders in the Somali community in Ward 10. 

"They have made sweeping accusations, placing the responsibility squarely on my shoulders, and those of my supporters without conducting a thorough investigation or taking into account the perspective of key stakeholders," he said. 

DFL Chairman Ken Martin said during the meeting Tuesday that he spoke to Somali leaders, who told him they wanted to see accountability. He did not claim the decision was based on a survey of the Somali community or DFL members — but rather on the organization’s investigation into what went wrong at the convention.  

"The behavior that Warsame’s campaign team and supporters engaged in at the Ward 10 endorsing convention was reprehensible, and today the DFL Party held their campaign accountable," Martin said in a statement after the committee voted to ban Warsame. 

He added:

"Political endorsing conventions can sometimes be complex, contentious, and fiercely contested, which is why the DFL Party has processes in place to resolve any disputes that arise during these conventions. Violence and intimidation are never justified, and the action taken tonight proves that they will never be tolerated in our party."

Chugtai issued a lengthy statement the day after the convention, which was abandoned after the chaos.

"The Warsame campaign punched multiple women of color on our campaign team, and shoved and harassed LGBTQIA2S+ delegates and supporters. They also repeatedly attempted to get a hold of the camera of a movement photographer who had been given an All Access Pass by the DFL to document the Convention — attacking those who are documenting democracy just because they support or work for a certain candidate is unacceptable," she wrote.  

The DFL is planning a virtual convention in which a candidate — presumably, Chugtai — can receive the party’s endorsement.  The November election is nonpartisan and will use ranked-choice voting. 

Warsame says he is still running and is optimistic about his chances. 

"We will emerge victorious, our community deserves better, and I am committed to deliver the change," he said.