Warsame campaign addresses chaos at Ward 10 DFL convention
Supporters of a Minneapolis City Council candidate are accused of starting a fight at last weekend’s DFL Ward 10 endorsing convention. Now Nasri Warsame’s team is defending their actions.
Video shared online by local blog Wedge LIVE! shows incumbent Council Member Aisha Chughtai taking the stage with supporters to make a speech. But supporters of challenger Warsame began drowning Chughtai out, with some even jumping onto the stage.
The convention ended without an endorsement, and police say two people received medical attention.
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On Wednesday, Warsame’s team said the tensions were a result of a history with the Democratic Socialists of America, which ran the convention.
“The lack of trust in the DSA members running the DFL convention and caucus is a result of the history of manipulating conventions to ensure the success of their candidates,” said Abshir Omar, Warsame’s campaign manager.
Warsame’s team also pushed back against claims — from the DFL party and Chughtai — that his supporters were responsible for the chaos and violence.
“I do not condone violence,” Warsame said Wednesday, adding: “We must do everything we can to ensure that future conventions are safe and secure.”
Omar also disagreed with the accusation.
“Aisha Chughtai’s cameraman verbally assaulted and physically pushed a pregnant delegate at the Ward 10 convention, which started the chaos,” Omar said.
There were also concerns expressed surrounding ballots not being counted accurately.
“This convention was, from our perspective, rigged in favor of [Chughtai],” Omar added.
In a statement on Thursday, Council Member Aisha Chughtai said, “The Warsame campaign is asking you to believe their version of events, which are clearly not what we all saw on the videos. This convention used the same open and transparent process that the DFL has always used, and was agreed to by both campaigns. Campaigns that are winning and have the support of the people don’t violently disrupt the process. As a campaign and as a movement, we’re on the path to a safer, more just Minneapolis and we look forward to continuing to share that vision with the people of Ward 10.”
Omar also accused Ward 4 Council Member Jeremiah Ellison of assaulting him during the fray and said he met with the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office to press charges.
Ellison denied the accusation and called it “a meager and weak attempt to evade accountability.”
DFL Party Chair Ken Martin is planning to call an emergency meeting Thursday to address what happened at Saturday’s convention — that could include discussing whether to ban anyone involved in the fight from the party.