Radical “Squad” member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) has been hit with a competitive primary challenge from a popular Minneapolis Democrat.
On Sunday, former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels announced he will attempt to unseat Omar in the Democrat primary, according to the Associated Press.
Samuels previously challenged Omar in August 2022.
However, Samuels was only narrowly defeated in the race.
He garnered 48.2% support to Omar’s 50.3%.
Samuels called Omar as divisive and believes a more moderate option is needed, according to the AP.
“Our congresswoman has a predilection to divisiveness and conflict,” Samuels told the AP.
“She has frightened the Jewish community,” Samuels told the AP.
He further pointed to a “latent and lurking antisemitic sentiment that always needs discouragement, and always in times of national crisis raises its ugly head.”
Then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) offered a late endorsement of Omar in the 2022 race.
Proud to have the support of our Speaker, @SpeakerPelosi. Together we’ve been able to secure millions of dollars for the 5th and pass dozens of bills through the House to protect abortion rights, curtail police misconduct, and stem the tide of the climate crisis. pic.twitter.com/4EV9QT7iqT
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 7, 2022
However, Jamaican-born Samuels also received significant endorsement from local officials in Minneapolis.
Samuels told the AP:
“The long tails of the George Floyd and COVID issues continue, with empty storefronts and empty strip malls because people don’t want to invest anymore.
“They don’t think it’s safe.”
Samuels opposed defunding the police following the death of George Floyd.
Omar, on the other hand, championed the movement and called slashing police budgets a “policy demand,” according to the AP.
We lose people in the hands of police. It’s not a slogan but a policy demand. And centering the demand for equitable investments and budgets for communities across the country gets us progress and safety. https://t.co/Vu6inw4ms7
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) December 2, 2020
In a statement, Omar defended her record.
“I’m incredibly proud of the model of co-governance we’ve built in the 5th District, which has included monthly town halls, routine constituent service resource fairs and a brand new district office,” Omar said.
“I’ve brought over $40 million to the district in the form of community projects—including a brand new affordable housing facility for veterans in Robbinsdale that I toured this weekend.”
“As a leader of the House Budget Committee and Progressive Caucus, I’ve continued to fight for the progressive values Minnesotans sent me to advocate for—whether it’s fighting to codify Roe v. Wade into law, pushing for historic climate legislation, addressing the opioid crisis or fighting for an assault weapons ban.”
Other declared Democrat candidates include Sarah Gad, an attorney, and Tim Peterson, a military veteran.
One Republican, Dalia Al-Aqidi, an Iraqi-American journalist, is also challenging Omar, according to the AP.