Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) barely held on in the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s fifth congressional district, beating centrist Don Samuels by about 3,000 votes, according to projections.
Omar’s landslide victory in Tuesday’s primary highlights the congresswoman’s waning popularity among Democrats.
JUST IN: Ilhan Omar survives #MN05 primary, challenger Don Samuels concedes.
Omar will win by ~3,000 votes, far less than the 35,000 she won in the 2020 primary. https://t.co/cpzgQ7KJf6
— Theo Keith (@TheoKeith) August 10, 2022
Although Omar is expected to beat Samuels by a two-point margin with an advantage of around 3,000 votes, his performance on Tuesday is nowhere near as strong as in his 2018 and 2020 primaries.
For example, Omar won more than 14,000 votes more than his Democratic challenger in 2018 and about 35,000 votes more than his main challenger in 2020.
Since his election to Congress in 2018, Omar has been part of the far-left “Squad” that has advocated for defunding the police and abolishing the US prison system.
Samuels’ surprising effort against Omar could be attributed to Omar’s support for a failed ballot measure to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new Department of Public Safety.
Samuels, a former Minneapolis city councilman, told the Tribune of the Stars that Omar’s support for the Minneapolis Police Department’s fundraising effort prompted him to run against it.
Omar will now face Republican challenger Cicely Davis in November’s midterm elections.
BREAKING: Cicely Davis wins the Republican nomination for the U.S. House in Minnesota’s 5th congressional district. #APraceCall at 9:24 p.m. CDT. https://t.co/2nlgpji7ac
— AP Policy (@AP_Politics) August 10, 2022
Davis, a former BLEXIT Minnesota director who enjoys the support of the state’s Republican Party, is confident she can defeat Omar in the general election.
Davis called out Omar for supporting police defunding efforts in Minneapolis during an interview with local media.
As the outlet reported:
Davis says she will focus on the issues most important to Fifth District voters, such as inflation, gas prices and formula shortages. She says the biggest difference between her and Omar concerns the issue of public safety. While Omar has argued for defunding the police, Davis says the voters she speaks to want more police.
“They want to feel safe. Walk with their dogs. Standing with their kids at the bus stop and so that’s the area that separates me from my opponent,” Davis said. “We need a police presence. We need to feel safe on our streets. We need CD 5 to be a safe place to visit, a safe place to work.