Lewiston Reporter Praises Maine’s First Somali-American Rep, Fails to Mention His Son Was Her Treasurer

Steve Collins wins an award for journalism

The Lewiston Sun Journal’s Steve Collins wrote a gushing profile about a young Lewiston community organizer, Mana Hared Abdi, who won an unopposed election for the State House of Representatives.

Collins, who last year won the prestigious Maine Press Association’s Journalist of the Year award, failed to mention that his son Kiernan Innes Majerus-Collins, was Abdi’s campaign treasurer.

“One of the stars of Lewiston’s immigrant community, 26-year-old community organizer Mana Abdi, won election Tuesday to a state House seat that will make her the first Somali-American lawmaker in Augusta,” said Collins.

Collins describes another member of the immigrant community openly weeping after a speech from Abdi. Her soon-to-be colleagues in the House lavish praise on the young community organizer, with Drew Gattine, chairman for the Democratic Party, telling Collins that she will “make history.”

Abdi, Collins notes, was born in a refugee camp in Kenya and arrived in Kansas before settling in Lewiston in 2009. She graduated high school in 2014 in Lewiston and earned a degree from University of Maine at Farmington before working for Bates College.

In the only line of the story that has anything to do with Abdi’s political views, Collins quotes her saying that Lewiston deserves affordable housing and good jobs.

UPDATE: A Twitter user helpfully notes that this isn’t the first time Collins has omitted his son from the pages of the Sun Journal.


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