Rep. Ilhan Omar, in the vortex of President Donald Trump’s Twitter attack on four Democratic congresswomen of color, raised more than $600,000 for her re-election bid between April and June, ending the second quarter with nearly $1 million in her campaign account.
Omar, a Democrat from Minneapolis, reported the fundraising haul Monday morning in a campaign finance filing with the Federal Election Commission.
Omar’s fundraising represents a bounty of cash for a freshman running in a safe Democratic seat, but it also reflects her high media profile as she continues to clash with Trump and sometimes even leaders of her own party.
Her history-making election as the first Somali-American and one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress catapulted her into the national spotlight and won praise from those who saw her win as a sign of progress toward more inclusivity and diversity in politics. But Omar also faced rebuke over a series of comments about the political influence of the pro-Israel lobby, words that were condemned by lawmakers from both parties for conjuring anti-Semitic stereotypes. A probe that found she violated Minnesota campaign finance law as a state legislator renewed lingering questions about her marital history and tax filings. Those controversies have helped fuel frequent political attacks from leading Republicans, including Trump.
The latest fundraising totals suggest the attention and attacks continue to energize Omar’s supporters. The former state legislator won the Minneapolis-based Fifth Congressional District with 78% of the vote in 2018 and is not currently facing a primary challenge.
Political handicappers view the quarterly campaign finance reports, due Monday, as one measure of strength of candidates on the ballot. Minnesota is expected to be home to a number of competitive contests in 2020, with a U.S. Senate race and a handful of targeted House seats on the ballot.
Democratic Sen. Tina Smith, running for a full six years in the Senate after winning last year’s special election to fill the remainder of former Sen. Al Franken’s term, raised more than $1.5 million in the second quarter.
The former lieutenant governor reported about $2 million in the bank.
Her only declared GOP challenger so far, composer Robert Barrett, reported raising just over $10,000. Several high-profile Republicans, including former GOP Rep. Jason Lewis, are also considering a run.
Freshman Democratic Rep. Angie Craig raised more than $570,000 for her re-election bid. Craig, who defeated a GOP incumbent in a south metro district last year, reported about $700,000 in campaign reserves. Rep. Dean Philips, who flipped a Republican-held seat in the western suburbs, reported about $178,000 in contributions and had $174,000 cash on hand. Both gave six-figure personal loans to their campaigns over the last two years that have not been fully paid back.
Republican Rep. Pete Stauber took in $355,000 to run again for the Iron Range district he won last year. The freshman has about $410,000 in the bank for his bid.
Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, whose southern Minnesota district is expected to be a top target for Democrats in 2020, took in just shy of $197,000. The freshman representative has about $320,000 cash on hand heading into the second half of the year. Longtime Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson reported raising just $160,000, but ended the quarter with more than $830,000 in the bank. Peterson won re-election in a vast western Minnesota district that Trump swept by 30 percentage points in 2016. He recently told the Star Tribune that he will announce his plans for 2020 early next year.
Rep. Tom Emmer, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, raised more than $375,000 and ended the quarter with $544,000 cash on hand. Rep. Betty McCollum took in $118,000. The Democratic incumbent reported $225,000 in campaign reserves.
Democratic Reps. Angie Craig and Dean Phillips, GOP Rep. Pete Stauber — all freshmen who won competitive races in 2018 — and U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, running for president, were expected to submit their full reports to the FEC late Monday. They faced a midnight deadline.