Rep. Ilhan Omar faces repeat primary challenge from Democrat Don Samuels
The big picture: Omar is one of at least four House Democrats affiliated with the progressive "Squad" coalition to attract a serious primary challenger following their criticism of Israel's actions in the wake of Hamas' Oct. 7 attack.
Driving the news: Don Samuels, a 74-year-old former city council member and mayoral candidate, announced on Sunday his second consecutive bid for Minnesota's 5th Congressional District.
- He lost his 2022 primary campaign against the incumbent congresswoman by 2 percentage points, or about 2,500 votes.
What they're saying: Samuels, who attacked Omar over her stance on police and past comments on Israel during the 2022 campaign, told the Star Tribune that the three-term incumbent has "dug a deeper hole, especially in this most recent [Israel-Hamas] crisis."
- "[She] continues to demonstrate that there's an urgent need for new leadership."
The other side: Omar defended her tenure in a statement to the paper, saying she fights for "the progressive values Minnesotans sent me to advocate for."
Of note: Attorney Sarah Gad and Tim Peterson, an Air Force veteran, have also filed to run in the primary against Omar.
- On the Republican side, 2020 candidate Dalia Al-Aqidi has announced a campaign.
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