Deqa Dhalac, a member of Somali Community Center of Maine, speaks during a rally to show opposition to Gov. Paul LePage in 2016 at Capitol Park, across from the State House, in Augusta. Credit: Ashley L. Conti / BDN

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — A Maine official who is believed to be the first Muslim elected to the South Portland City Council is now the city’s mayor.

Deqa Dhalac was scheduled to become mayor of the state’s fourth-largest city on Monday. Voters elected Dhalac to the council in 2018, and this year, the seven-member council decided to elevate her to the mayoral post.

Dhalac immigrated to the U.S. from Somalia and has a background in social work. She represents the city’s fifth district.

CAIR, a Muslim civil rights group, hopes Dhalac “will help inspire a new generation of American Muslims as they take an increasing role in building a better society,” spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper said