Ilhan Omar headed for primary rematch after narrow 2022 victory

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Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels announced Sunday that he would launch a primary challenge to Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), after losing the primary race narrowly in 2022.

Samuels, a progressive Democrat, announced his bid for Omar’s congressional seat in an interview with local radio station WCCO.

In 2022, Omar squeaked by a win with a 2-point lead over the former city council member. However, Samuels said Sunday that his narrow loss showed that Omar is “beatable.”

“Ilhan hasn’t helped herself,” Samuels said. “She has made missteps, even after the last race.”

“And so there’s some folks who are coming [to support me] because of what I am, who I am and what I will do, and some are coming because of what she does, and will do,” he added. 

He also noted that he is jumping into the race earlier than he did last time, giving him more time to build relationships with voters and donors. Samuels also took aim at Omar for being divisive, pointing to her criticism of former President Obama for saying that defunding the police was a “snappy slogan.”

“My opponent is, is known for divisiveness and rancor personally, locally, nationally and internationally,” he said.

He dodged a question on whether he would support a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war, a call that Omar and other members of the “squad” have backed since the onset of the war on Oct. 7. 

“So we have to remember that Israel is our ally. Hamas is, in fact, a terrorist organization. But our No. 1 allies are justice and peace,” he said. 

The Hill has reached out to Omar’s campaign for comment. 

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