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Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar Poised to Become First Somali-American in Congress

First-term state representative wins DFL nomination to replace Ellison

State Rep. Ilhan Omar won the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination for Minnesota’s 5th District on Tuesday night. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival file photo)
State Rep. Ilhan Omar won the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party nomination for Minnesota’s 5th District on Tuesday night. (Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival file photo)

State Rep. Ilhan Omar is the likely new member from Minnesota’s 5th District, setting her up to be the first Somali-American in Congress.  

With 91 percent of precincts reporting, Omar led the six-way Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party field with 48 percent of the vote, when The Associated Press called the race. 

Omar ran with the endorsement of the 5th District DFL in the Minneapolis-based seat. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the general election Solid Democratic.

If she wins in November, as expected, Omar would also be one of first Muslim-American women in Congress. (Michigan’s Rashid Tlaib won the Democratic primary in Michigan’s heavily Democratic 13th District last week, and she faces no GOP opposition in November.)

Omar would bring a progressive voice to the Democratic Caucus. She was endorsed by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey and several major Democratic organizations such as MoveOn.org, Our Revolution and Women Winning

Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison chose not to run for re-election and to instead seek the DFL nod for state attorney general. The vice chairman of the Democratic National Committee, Ellison is facing accusations of abuse from a former girlfriend, which he has denied.

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Jeff Cirillo contributed to this report. 

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