Ilhan Omar Narrowly Survives Surprisingly Tough Democratic Primary Battle

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar narrowly eked out a win in her Democratic primary battle against Minneapolis Councilman Don Samuels, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.

Omar, one of the members of the “Squad,” is seeking a third term in Minnesota’s 5th District.

Omar edged out Samuels, a moderate, 50-48.

"Tonight's victory is a testament to how much our district believes in the collective values we are fighting for and how much they're willing to do to help us overcome defeat," Omar said in a statement.

Omar was targeted over her support for a failed ballot question to replace the Minneapolis police department and her effort to back primary challengers to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.

Omar did not buy any TV ads despite numerous attacks against her, relying instead on a strong get-out-the-vote effort.

"You do all the work and you wait for the results," she said. "That's why we go on hard."

Well-funded challenge:

Samuels, 73, had the backing of Frey and other neighboring mayors as well as moderate and GOP-aligned groups that helped fund attacks on Omar.

"It shows that people are dissatisfied with her performance," Samuels said of the results. "Even with all the advantages of incumbency and endorsement and recognition and the odds, all of that, that she still could lose an election because people are so dissatisfied."

Omar faces another test:

Omar still has to face Republican candidate Cicely Davis, who won the GOP primary.

Omar has been one of the most-watched lawmakers in the country over her statements on foreign policy, race, and policing.

Omar has established herself as a prominent progressive voice in Congress, bucking her party on the infrastructure bill, a ban on Russian oil, and funding for Israel’s defense system.


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