Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday defeated Democrat main rival, lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux, who drew attention for overestimating her during the campaign, the Associated Press predicted.
The race has attracted attention in recent weeks: Melton-Meaux said he supported Omar’s running for Congress for the first time in 2018 but criticized her for the number of votes she missed.
Melton-Meaux told The Associated Press: “She was ineffective in Washington because she was divisive and she focused on her celebrity.
As a member of the “Squad” of four progressive women in Congress, Omar was elected one of the first Muslim American women in Congress, along with Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. Her outspoken criticisms of President Trump and support of left-wing ideas garnered national attention, and attention surrounding Somali-born progressive lawmakers – and source Her Twitter feed – made her a target for Republicans and even some Democrats.
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And Omar is no stranger to controversy, having apologized early in her parliamentary term for making comments that were considered anti-Semitic.
Omar has the backing of some of the biggest names in politics – such as House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the radical leader Senator Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont – who in which she was involved in the election campaign when the populist champion ran. for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.
She also enjoys support from top Minnesota Democrats, such as Governor Tim Walz, Governor Peggy Flanagan, House Speaker Melissa Hortman and Attorney General Keith Ellison. And she has the backing of local unions and state parties as she runs for a second two-year term representing Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District – which covers much of the city of Minneapolis and is the point There was no basis for nationwide protests due to the death of George Floyd at the hands of the police.
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But in a battle for campaign cash, Melton-Meaux brought in a whopping $ 3.2 million in the April-June fundraising quarter, according to Federal Election Commission filings. . That far outstrips Omar, who raised almost half a million dollars in the same time span. Melton-Meaux said there were $ 2 million in his campaign treasury as of the end of June, nearly double Omar’s $ 1.1 million in cash.
On a local level, Melton-Meaux has won an endorsement of the Star Tribune, Minneapolis’s largest newspaper.
“Whether it’s health care, criminal justice or affordable housing, Melton-Meaux seems progressive, but pragmatic,” said the editorial board. “While Omar wants to lead a movement, Melton-Meaux seeks to serve County Five.”
Editors also dismissed Omar’s “missteps”, including annoying comments about Israel and her campaign finances.
Omar’s campaign has knocked on the door – a typical move in any other but very unusual electoral cycle during a coronavirus pandemic.
Omar’s campaign quietly returns at the beginning of July, with out-of-the-box protocols and face masks.
Claire Bergren, Omar’s campaign manager, told the New York Times, “There’s an element that can’t be recreated without being in person.
Melton-Meaux has pointed to the controversy surrounding the congresswoman as to why he decided to run. He argued that Omar “had lost trust of the Jewish community by her insensitive and harmful jokes”.
Omar also faces questions about payments to her husband’s company, which is believed to have received more than a million dollars from her campaign in the 2020 cycle. Asked specifically about $ 600,000 that had been transferred to her husband’s company during the first three weeks of July.
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“I don’t pay my husband. I pay the company for the work and that [$600,000] Really an example of that work, ”she said at a recent debate. “This was our first time placing an ad on TV, which surprised me because it was not something we were used to on Thursday, and that money was used to place that ad and To make sure we have digital advertising, we have material that is being sent to our voters, because those are outstanding efforts for us. “
Fox News’s Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.