First-term U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar — an icon of the political left who has been a regular foil for President Donald Trump — easily won another two years in Congress.
“Tonight’s results are an affirmation of our people-centered agenda,” Omar said at the DFL’s election night event. She said she plans to work to raise the minimum wage, have millionaires and billionaires “pay their fair share” and expand paid leave and sick time.
She headed into election night all but guaranteed a win in the overwhelmingly Democratic Fifth Congressional District, which includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs. Omar had focused on driving up turnout to support Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Meanwhile, Trump has continued to lambaste Omar, who came to the U.S. as a child after fleeing Somalia’s civil war. In the final days of the campaign, the president has emphasized his efforts to limit refugees from Somalia, among other countries. He called out Omar in swing state rallies, including in Minnesota. He charged that she does not love the U.S. and claimed without basis that Biden would select her as Homeland Security secretary.
The national spotlight on Omar has prompted people to spend heavily on the Fifth District’s primary and general elections.
Omar easily defeated well-funded Democratic primary challenger Antone Melton-Meaux. Despite overwhelming odds in her favor, the general election race has also attracted significant spending. Republican opponent Lacy Johnson raised more than $10 million as of mid-October, while Omar had taken in roughly $5.4 million. Johnson, a businessman from north Minneapolis, ran ads against Omar and tried to make inroads with Black voters in the district, independents and Democrats who dislike Omar.