Abshir Omar, a Somali refugee and Democratic Socialist, announced June 20 his campaign for Christine Hensley's Des Moines City Council seat.

The Ward III seat represents downtown and the city's southwest side.

Omar, a Des Moines resident since 2012, was born during the Somalian civil war, fled with his family to a refugee camp in Kenya and, after being approved for a refugee visa, settled in Seattle, according to a news release.

He attended Iowa State University and is president of the Iowa chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, the release states. He has also served on the United States Student Association board and as vice president and founder of the Renton Teacher Academy Foundation, it states.

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