Ilhan Omar Set to Become One of First Muslim Congresswomen After Winning Primary

She competed for the seat formerly occupied by Rep. Keith Ellison, who left to run for state attorney general, and won for that job in Tuesday's primaries

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Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar at the Democratic Farmer Labor Party endorsement convention in Minnesota, June 17, 2018.
Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar at the Democratic Farmer Labor Party endorsement convention in Minnesota, June 17, 2018. Credit: Bloomberg

Ilhan Omar, United States' first Somali-American legislator, won the Minnesota Democratic primary for Congress on Tuesday.

The seat she competed for in the fifth district was previously held by Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, who left to run for state attorney general, and won his primary Tuesday night for that job.

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Last week, former Democratic state representative Rashida Tlaib won her state's primary election, which set her to become the first Palestinian-American woman in congress. There is no Republican running for the seat in the heavily Democratic-leaning district, meaning Tlaib is virtually guaranteed to win the seat in November's election.

With her primary win, Omar, who is running for Congress in a heavily African-American and very Democratic district, is also guaranteed victory in November. She is set to join Tlaib in the House of Representatives.

Tlaib congratulated Omar on Twitter Tuesday with the message: "I can't wait to walk onto the floor of United States Congress hand in hand with you. So incredibly proud of you."

Omar addressed her supporters in a tweet, saying "Today is about more than winning, it's about building a coalition to fight the politics of fear and scarcity. I'm a legislator, a refugee, and a working mom. But above all, I'm an organizer. And I'm ready to organize for the America we deserve. I'm asking you to join me."

Omar has been warmly embraced and strongly endorsed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted, days before the primary, that Omar was a “modern-day hero” and urged supporters to “push her in” to office.

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