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Ilhan Omar: ‘Not my place to litigate’ Tara Reade’s story

Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday said it’s not her place to litigate the sexual assault allegations Tara Reade has leveled at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden, after Ms. Omar had said earlier this month that she believed Ms. Reade. “There’s obviously parts of what she has said that has been corroborated, parts of…

Ilhan Omar: ‘Not my place to litigate’ Tara Reade’s story

Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday said it’s not her place to litigate the sexual assault allegations Tara Reade has leveled at presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joseph R. Biden, after Ms. Omar had said earlier this month that she believed Ms. Reade.

“There’s obviously parts of what she has said that has been corroborated, parts of it that hasn’t — that is not my place to litigate her story,” Ms. Omar, Minnesota Democrat, said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“I think it is important when somebody says they have been assaulted and they see themselves as survivors that we, as we have been saying, believe survivors,” she said.

Ms. Reade has accused the former vice president of digitally penetrating her when she worked in his Senate office in the 1990s — charges Mr. Biden has repeatedly denied.

Ms. Omar had said in an interview with the British Sunday Times published over the weekend that she does believe Ms. Reade.

On Monday, she said on Twitter that the comments were weeks old, that “quotes aren’t always in context,” and that she plans to support Mr. Biden for president.

On Tuesday, she reiterated that she plans to support Mr. Biden.

“I think this is one of the most important elections of our lifetime, and we all have to do everything that we can to restore our democracy,” said Ms. Omar, who had supported Sen. Bernard Sanders of Vermont in the Democratic presidential primary contest.

She said she also thinks it’s important to create a space “where we allow for survivors to come forward, and that has been consistent with my values.”

“And I think we can do both,” Ms. Omar said.

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Ilhan

Ilhan Omar third ‘Squad’ member to squash primary challenge

Rep. Ilhan Omar is the third “Squad” member to claim victory in her primary race this cycle, defeating her challenger Antone Melton-Meaux. Ms. Omar’s victory Tuesday night is the latest in a string of victories for the far-left wing of the Democratic Party this cycle. “Rep. Omar ran a people-powered race and got a people-powered…

Ilhan Omar third ‘Squad’ member to squash primary challenge

Rep. Ilhan Omar is the third “Squad” member to claim victory in her primary race this cycle, defeating her challenger Antone Melton-Meaux.

Ms. Omar’s victory Tuesday night is the latest in a string of victories for the far-left wing of the Democratic Party this cycle.

“Rep. Omar ran a people-powered race and got a people-powered result. She put people who are on the margins of today’s economy at the center of her campaign, fighting for a Homes Guarantee, Medicare for All, and bold solutions for climate change,” Movement Politics Director for People’s Action Ryan Greenwood said in a statement Wednesday morning. “That’s how she beat back a corporate-friendly primary challenger from the right.”

The competitive race had Ms. Omar, Minnesota Democrat, fending off harsh criticism from her well-funded opponent on her controversial celebrity-status that, he argued, left her out of touch with the district.

Ms. Omar soundly defeated Mr. Melton-Meaux Tuesday night, with 57.4% of the vote to his 39.2%.

“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,” the freshman congresswoman tweeted after her win. “Despite the attacks, our support has only grown.”

“It’s about standing up to a President who promised to ban an entire group of people from this country based solely on their Muslim identity, calls our countries of origin ‘s–hole countries,’ and threatened to send us back to where we came from,” she added.

Ms. Omar is one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress and has become a star among far-left activists who believe Democrats need to do more for the working class and the party has become too beholden to corporate America.

However, the congresswoman has had a number of controversies in her first term for comments she made about pro-Israel advocacy groups and Jewish lawmakers being loyal to the state of Israel, a government she’s a vocal critic of, that many said were anti-semitic.

Ms. Omar, along with the other “Squad” members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, are also locked in a feud with President Trump.

Both Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Ms. Tlaib defeated their primary challenges this year.

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Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar easily wins against well-funded challenger |NationalTribune.com

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American member of the US Congress, survived a stiff Democratic primary challenge from a well-funded opponent, who tried to make an issue of her national celebrity, the latest in a string of victories by a new generation of progressive legislators. Omar, seeking her second term in November, easily defeated Antone Melton-Meaux,…

Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar easily wins against well-funded challenger |NationalTribune.com

Ilhan Omar, the first Somali-American member of the US Congress, survived a stiff Democratic primary challenge from a well-funded opponent, who tried to make an issue of her national celebrity, the latest in a string of victories by a new generation of progressive legislators.
Omar, seeking her second term in November, easily defeated Antone Melton-Meaux, a lawyer and mediator who raised millions in anti-Omar money, and a third candidate.
She expanded her base by winning 57 percent of the vote against her two challengers during the election cycle, compared with her 48 percent victory in the 2018 primary.
“In Minnesota, we know that organised people will always beat organised money,” she wrote on social media following her win. “Despite the attacks, our support has only grown.”
Omar’s district is predominantly Democratic, and she is expected to win in November.
One of the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress in 2018, Omar, 37, is well-known as a member of the “Squad” of four freshman liberal congresswomen. 
Omar built on a national profile that started when the onetime refugee from Somalia was elected to the Minnesota Legislature in 2016. Her aggressive advocacy on liberal issues, and her eagerness to take on US President Donald Trump, made her even more prominent.

Omar and her allies gained confidence in her re-election chances after primary victories last week by fellow progressive members of Congress Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and by Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist who removed a longtime St Louis-area congressman.
They also claimed momentum from the renewed focus on racial and economic justice after George Floyd’s death in the city of Minneapolis.
‘Our squad is big’
After news reports projected Omar as the winner of the race, Tlaib congratulated her saying, “Our squad is big!” Omar and Tlaib became the first two Muslim women elected to Congress in 2018.
Omar’s opponent Melton-Meaux used the cash to paper the district and flood airwaves with his “Focused on the Fifth” message that portrayed Omar as out of touch with the heavily Democratic Minneapolis-area 5th District, which has not elected a Republican to Congress since 1960.

It has been the honor of my life to represent you in Congress and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the 5th District in the years to come.
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 12, 2020

He conceded defeat and acknowledged his efforts were not enough, while declining to speculate on why.
Omar rejected Melton-Meaux’s attacks, saying they were funded by interests who wanted to get her out of Congress because she’s effective.
Omar’s win in a Democratic stronghold means all four Squad members are likely to win re-election in November. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York dispatched a primary challenger in June, and the fourth Squad member, Representative Ayanna Pressley, is running unopposed in her primary in Massachusetts next month.
Minnesota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Vermont and Georgia all held primary elections for Congress on Tuesday. The outcome will help set the stage for November elections to the House of Representatives and Senate that will determine the balance of power in Washington.

After entering Congress with fanfare, Omar hurt herself early with comments about Israel and money that even some fellow Democrats called anti-Semitic, and found herself apologising.
She also came under scrutiny when her marriage fell apart and she remarried her political consultant months after denying they had a relationship.
Republicans also raised questions about continuing payments to her new husband’s firm, though experts said they are not necessarily improper.
In the wake of Floyd’s death, police reform also emerged as an issue. Omar supported a push by a majority of the Minneapolis City Council to replace the city’s police department with something new.
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Ilhan Omar fends off primary challenge

MINNEAPOLIS — Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota on Tuesday survived a stiff Democratic primary challenge from a well-funded opponent who tried to make an issue of her national celebrity. Omar, seeking her second term in November, defeated Antone Melton-Meaux, an attorney and mediator who raised millions in anti-Omar money. Melton-Meaux used the cash to paper…

Ilhan Omar fends off primary challenge

MINNEAPOLIS — Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota on Tuesday survived a stiff Democratic primary challenge from a well-funded opponent who tried to make an issue of her national celebrity.

Omar, seeking her second term in November, defeated Antone Melton-Meaux, an attorney and mediator who raised millions in anti-Omar money.

Melton-Meaux used the cash to paper the district and flood airwaves with his “Focused on the Fifth” message that portrayed Omar, a member of “The Squad” of four progressive female members of Congress, as out of touch with the Minneapolis-area 5th District.

Omar in 2018 became one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, building on a national profile that started when the onetime refugee from Somalia was elected to the Minnesota Legislature just two years earlier. Her aggressive advocacy on liberal issues, and her eagerness to take on Donald Trump, made her even more prominent.

Omar rejected Melton-Meaux’s attacks, saying they were funded by interests who wanted to get her out of Congress because she’s effective. She also downplayed Melton-Meaux’s prodigious fundraising before the vote, saying, “Organized people will always beat organized money.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and Republican challenger Jason Lewis easily won their primaries in the only statewide races on the ballot. Elsewhere, in western Minnesota’s conservative 7th District, former state Sen. Michelle Fischbach was the endorsed Republican in a three-way race for the right to challenge Democratic Rep. Collin Peterson. Peterson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, is one of the GOP’s top targets to flip a House seat in November.

After entering Congress with fanfare, Omar hurt herself early with comments about Israel and money that even some fellow Democrats called anti-Semitic, and found herself apologizing. She also came under scrutiny when her marriage fell apart and she married her political consultant months after denying they were having an affair.

Republicans also raised questions about continuing payments to her new husband’s firm, though experts said they aren’t necessarily improper.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, police reform also emerged as an issue. Omar supported a push by a majority of the Minneapolis City Council to replace the city’s police department with something new. Melton-Meaux did not support that but did support shifting some funding away from police to more social service-oriented programs. Both touched on the issue in personal ways, with Omar saying she wanted her son to grow up safely. Melton-Meaux, who is also Black, told a personal story of being detained while at the University of Virginia by police seeking an assault suspect reported to have run into his apartment building.

Progressive Democrats gained confidence in Omar’s reelection chances after primary victories last week by fellow “Squad” member Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and by Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist, in a St. Louis-area congressional primary. Progressives also claimed momentum from the renewed focus on racial and economic justice after Floyd’s death.

Catherine Thornton, 36, a General Mills researcher who lives in southwest Minneapolis, said Tuesday that she voted for Melton-Meaux.

“I have a lot of respect for Ms. Omar, but I personally don’t align with just her focus on the progressive agenda. And I felt like Mr. Melton-Meaux would have more focus on our district and the people of our district’s needs.”

Wendy Helgeson, 57, a consultant, backed Omar two years ago, even installing a lawn sign in her yard, and said she was “awfully proud of her being the first Black Muslim woman that we elected.” But she said she was concerned about campaign payments to Omar’s husband’s firm as well as her national presence, and found it easy to vote for Melton-Meaux, whom she said has been her friend for 12 years.

“I admire her as a woman,” Helgeson said of Omar. “As a candidate, ehhh … I have some reservations.”

John Hildebrand, a 47-year-old teacher in Minneapolis who voted for Omar, said her national profile is an advantage.

“I think just her presence encourages other Muslims and Somalis to run for office and to seek to be represented,” he said. “I think she just engages people in the political system more and more.”

Blake Smith, 23, a parks worker who is Black and described himself as a leftist, also backed Omar. He’s concerned about climate change, Medicare for all and getting money out of politics, and he sees her as an ally.

“It’s more time for radical change than like small – I don’t think we have time for incremental change anymore,” Smith said.

• Doug Glass contributed. Ibrahim is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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