- Rep. Ilhan Omar beats back Democratic primary challenge in Minnesota
- Omar had been outraised by her opponent, Antone Melton-Meaux
Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday defeated her Democratic primary challenger, attorney Antone Melton-Meaux, who garnered attention for outraising her during the campaign, the Associated Press projected.
The race has gotten attention in recent weeks: Melton-Meaux said he supported Omar’s first run for Congress in 2018 but criticized her for the number of votes she’s missed.
“She has been ineffective in Washington because she is divisive, and she’s focused on her celebrity,” Melton-Meaux told The Associated Press.
As a member of the four-woman progressive “Squad” in Congress, Omar was elected as one of the first Muslim American women in Congress, along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. Her outspoken criticism of President Trump and advocacy for far-left ideas have gained national attention, and the attention surrounding the Somali born progressive lawmaker – and her Twitter feed – have made her a target of Republicans and even some fellow Democrats.
And Omar’s no stranger to controversy, apologizing early in her congressional tenure for making comments viewed as anti-Semitic.
Omar has the backing of some of the biggest names in politics – such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, progressive leader Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – whom she joined on the campaign trail when the populist champion was running for the Democratic presidential nomination.
She also enjoys the support of leading Minnesota Democrats, such as Gov. Tim Walz, Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan, state House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Attorney General Keith Ellison. And she has the backing of local unions and the state party as she runs for a second two-year term representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District – which covers much of the city of Minneapolis and was ground zero for the nationwide protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.