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 November 13, 2023

Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota again challenged by notable Democrat

Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels announced on Nov. 12 that he will primary against squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar, according to The New York Post.

The prominent Democrat lawmaker is being challenged by a popular Democrat in her home state, who already tried to unseat her in 2022, and very nearly succeeded in his task.

“Our congresswoman has a predilection to divisiveness and conflict,” Samuels said in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of his official announcement Sunday morning on WCCO Radio.

The "squad" member and outspoken Muslim member of Congress has been reelected twice, working on her third term in office, despite a rocker first term.

The Minnesota Democrat shocked many for some aggressively antisemitic comments, suggesting Jewish Americans are divided in their loyalties.

Again, she has come under scrutiny for her condemnation of the Israeli government's movements in response to the attack on the Gaza strip by Hamas.

Her initial response to the attacks took the form of calling for a halt to violence: "I condemn the horrific acts we are seeing unfold today in Israel against children, women, the elderly, and the unarmed people who are being slaughtered and taken hostage by Hamas," Omar said on X, formerly Twitter.

"Such senseless violence will only repeat the back-and-forth cycle we've seen, which we cannot allow to continue. We need to call for de-escalation and ceasefire," Omar wrote. "I will keep advocating for peace and justice throughout the Middle East."

She later has continuously criticized Israel for their response to the invasion.

Her recent volatile statements are particularly troubling to many, due to the fact that Hamas is a known terrorist group and Israel is a longtime ally of the United States.

Her opponent didn't lose any time using the misstep as his stepping stone, saying "Ilhan has not helped herself," to the Minnesota Star Tribune on Sunday.

"Ilhan has not helped herself. She's dug a deeper hole, especially in this most recent [Israel-Hamas] crisis, and continues to demonstrate that there's an urgent need for new leadership," Samuels, a 74-year-old Jamaican immigrant, church leader, and radio host, said.

In the 2022 primary, Samuels came in second to Omar with 48% of the vote to Omar's 50%, a difference of less than 2,500 votes.

Omar ended up winning over her Republican opponent with over 74 percent of the vote in the general election, but due to the two-year terms that Congressional members serve, she is again facing the fierce competitor to keep her job in Washington.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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