Oh, the pundits waxed on about how Rep. Ilhan Omar, a member of the progressive group of congresswomen known as “The Squad,” was facing serious trouble in the Minnesota Democratic primary on Tuesday. Oh, they waxed on about the money Antone Melton-Meaux, an attorney who also runs a mediation practice, had raised. Oh, you could just hear the glee dripping from their copy about how he was a serious challenge to Omar, who just so happens to roll with a crew of women who moonlight for Dora Milaje.
Well, someone forgot to tell Minnesota voters that this was supposed to be a close race because Ilhan Omar just walked out here and beat this boy like a rented mule. Early Wednesday numbers showed Omar cruising by more than 15 percentage points.
“In Minnesota, we know that organized people will always beat organized money,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “Tonight, our movement didn’t just win. We earned a mandate for change. Despite outside efforts to defeat us, we once again broke turnout records. Despite the attacks, our support has only grown.”
Omar’s victory ensured a “clean sweep of re-election fights for the group of first-term Democratic congresswomen of color,” (aka The Squad) and sends a message to the old guard of decrepit government that the progressive voice has staying power.
From the New York Times:
Ms. Omar, who made history in 2018 by becoming the first Somali-American to be elected to Congress, as well as the first naturalized citizen of African birth and the first woman of color from Minnesota to do so, secured the victory after spending her first two years in the Washington spotlight.
Her unabashed embrace of left-wing politics has won her loyal followers, both in Minnesota and across the country. She has, however, become a lightning rod for conservatives and has faced criticism from some Democrats, particularly after several episodes in 2019 in which she was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks.
Opponents of Omar, of which there are many, attempted to use her statements against her as Melton-Meaux had received large donations from pro-Israel political action committees. Melton-Meaux even received an endorsement from the Star Tribune, the area’s flagship newspaper.
In the end, none of that mattered.
Britt D’Arezzo, 22, told the New York Times that the national perception of Omar doesn’t match the person they know and the one that spends time in the neighborhoods of her constituency, connecting with people.
“They don’t know her local activism,” D’Arezzo said. “They don’t see her walking around and just hanging out on corners. They don’t see the way she connects with us.”
Apparently that connection, that tangible connection with the people of her state, mattered more than money and endorsements.
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