U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar is backing U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ bid for president, setting her apart from a long list of Minnesota Democrats who are in the camp of U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
Omar announced her support for the Vermont senator late Tuesday, along with fellow freshmen Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. The three representatives, all women of color, have become leading figures on the progressive left.
Omar praised Sanders as a “leading a working-class movement to defeat Donald Trump that transcends generation, ethnicity, and geography.”
“I have seen the values that motivate him — and his commitment to building a movement that represents marginalized communities across this country,” she said.
Omar follows Attorney General Keith Ellison, a former congressman, in endorsing Sanders over Klobuchar.
The remaining five Democrats serving in Minnesota’s congressional delegation are supporting Klobuchar’s bid. But the split also means that Klobuchar is running for president without the support of either of the state’s top-ranking black elected officials.
Omar has teamed with Sanders on a number of high-profile policy issues since joining Congress, including a bill to establish free college and forgive student debt and a just-launched proposal to guarantee free lunch for all students.
Sanders won Minnesota’s caucuses by a landslide in 2016. He carried the Minneapolis-based Fifth Congressional District that Omar represents with support of nearly 65% of caucusgoers.