Ilhan Omar

Pressure Mounts as Ilhan Omar Faces New Challenger

It appears the 5th District of Minneapolis, Minnesota is gearing up to have a heated contest for the upcoming election. Now a new challenger has come forward: former Democratic City Council member Don Samuels has announced his intention to challenge Rep. Ilhan Omar and win back the seat he narrowly lost in August 2022.

The former Democratic Minneapolis City Council member narrowly lost to Omar in the August primary, with 48.2% of the vote compared to Omar’s 50.3%.

According to Samuels, one of his main motivations for entering the race is because he believes that a more moderate option is needed than what Omar has provided so far during her time as representative. He called her “divisive” and says she has “frightened the Jewish community.”

Furthermore, he pointed out a “latent and lurking antisemitic sentiment” that always requires discouragement during times of national crisis. Speaker Nancy Pelosi offered a late endorsement to Omar for the 2022 race, but local officials in Minneapolis also lent their support to Samuels’ campaign.


When asked by The Associated Press about his plans if elected into office, Samuel spoke about his ideas for improving safety and security within Minneapolis District 5 following George Floyd’s death and its related issues—including empty storefronts and strip malls due to people feeling unsafe investing there.

He also opposes defunding police departments while on the other hand, Omar called it a “policy demand.” However, despite being on different sides when it comes to this issue, both candidates have spoken positively about their attempts at co-governance throughout District 5.

In addition to Samuel and Omar’s candidacies are several others: Sarah Gad (D), an attorney, Tim Peterson (D), a military veteran, Dalia Al-Aqidi (R), an Iraqi-American journalist and several others according to The Associated Press who have all voiced their interest in becoming representatives of district 5 in Minnesota next year. Although no official statement was made by Samuel after this news broke initially there still remains much enthusiasm surrounding his candidacy nonetheless.

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