Minnesota

Omar easily clinches another term representing Minneapolis-area district

Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar is expected to slide to victory Tuesday in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, easily dodging a challenge from Republican Cicely Davis in a contest heavily focused on crime and law enforcement.

Omar has emerged as a leading figure in the Liberal push to overhaul local police departments — including, in some cases, cutting their budgets, following the 2020 killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis police officer in her district. And her support last year for a failed local ballot initiative to overhaul the city’s police department and shift the focus to public health programs became a focal point of this year’s competition.

lRep.  Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) exits the House of Representatives after a series of votes on veterans on Tuesday, November 16, 2021.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D) has won her re-election race in Minnesota’s 5th Circuit. Omar has emerged as one of the most prominent liberal voices on key issues during her time in Congress. (Greg Nash)

Davis, a conservative activist who has worked to motivate black Americans to quit the Democratic Party, tried to brand Omar as a “radical” liberal out of touch with the safety concerns of Minneapolis voters. In a cycle in which voters are concerned about crime, that message has resonated in counties across the country.

It wasn’t enough in 5th Minnesota, a heavily Democratic district in Minneapolis, where Omar won by nearly 40 points — and President Biden by 63 points — two years ago.

Omar’s tougher challenge this cycle came in the Democratic primary, where she ran against Don Samuels, a Minneapolis councilman who had also criticized Omar’s efforts to overhaul the city’s police department. In this contest, Omar achieved a win with less than 3,000 votes out of 114,000 votes cast.

Omar’s victory secures a third term for an MP who made history in 2018 when she became one of the first two Muslim women ever elected to Congress.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) addresses reporters during the Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 news briefing to highlight anti-Islamic remarks made by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).

Omar faced a difficult primary earlier this year, in which she won by less than 3,000 votes out of 114,000 votes cast. (Greg Nash)

A Somali refugee, Omar is also one of six members of the Liberal “squad” who have garnered national attention for beating more moderate Democrats – including some powerful incumbents – in the primary and then campaigning to follow the party after arriving in Washington to pull left .

Omar’s notoriety has been accompanied by controversy. Her criticism of the Israeli government has at times sparked allegations of anti-Semitism. Their religion often made them the target of right-wing attacks, including death threats.

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