Maine's first elected African-born Muslim to higher office

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - The first African-born Muslim to hold elective office in Maine is moving on to a higher post after another win.

Forty-seven-year-old Pious Ali made Maine history when he was elected to the Portland Board of Education in 2013. Voters in Maine's largest city elected Ali as an at-large City Council member on Tuesday. Portland elections are nonpartisan.

Ali came to the United States in 2000 after working as a photojournalist in his former home of Ghana. The Portland Press Herald (http://bit.ly/2fE2fFy ) reports that Ali benefited from campaigning by Mayor Ethan Strimling, who appeared in a radio ad and automated phone message on behalf of the candidate.

Ali is well known locally as an organizer and activist on behalf of Portland's immigrant community, which includes several thousand residents from Somalia, Sudan and other African countries.

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