Progressive Rep. Ilhan Omar at risk of being ousted from Congress by primary opponent Don Samuels

 May 25, 2024

Far-left progressive "Squad" member Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) is facing a concerted primary challenge from a former Minneapolis city council member who came within just a few thousand votes of unseating her in the 2022 midterm elections.

Now that Democratic challenger, Don Samuels, has boldly predicted victory this time around because, he says, voters in their district have "grown tired" of Omar's "very immature" foreign policy views and "antics," according to the Daily Mail.

Samuels will hope to improve upon his surprisingly good showing against Omar in 2022, when he lost by just two percentage points, when Minnesota's 5th District holds its congressional primary elections in August.

Omar has a "very immature interpretation of reality"

In his exclusive interview with the Daily Mail, Samuels called Rep. Omar "a far-left version of what's on the far-right," and said, "We need leaders who can pull us together, she continues to pull us apart."

"It's because of a very immature interpretation of reality that tends to be dualistic," he continued in reference to the congresswoman's overt anti-Israel views, particularly amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. "You got good guys and bad guys. You got pro-police and no police. You've got pro-genocide and anti-genocide."

Samuels, who sued the city of Minneapolis in 2021 for its failures to stop the destructive anti-police riots in 2020, said of his opponent, "Omar throws fuel on the fire of discontent and gets very popular for it, generates a lot of intensity, but loses a lot of her constituents and pushes others into silence and alienation."

Omar's anti-semitism an issue

The Daily Mail noted that Rep. Omar has caught plenty of heat over the years for her anti-semitic statements, for which she has previously apologized. Still, Samuels has dismissed Omar's purported apologies as insincere, particularly since she has continued to express such views from time to time.

"She had sentiments that were interpreted by the Jewish community as anti-Semitic. And this didn't bother her," he said as he noted that even hearing such concerns from some of her constituents had no apparent impact.

"Believe me, there were meetings held with her there were people expressed to her the nuances of their sentiments and experiences and feelings," Samuels explained. "It was not just that she was left to her own and in spite of that, she continued."

He went on to claim that in spite of Omar's celebrity status and high-profile endorsements, many voters in the district had "grown tired" of her antics, and added, "They're getting tired of the rancor the the divisiveness, the non representational leadership that takes off on flights of fantasy of its own versus representing the will of the people."

April poll showed Omar and Samuels tied

The Daily Mail reported separately in April that Rep. Omar and her challenger Samuels were tied at 41% support in a poll of the 5th District, which gave the former toymaker and city councilman originally from Jamaica hope that he could improve upon his 2022 primary performance, when he lost by just 2.1% or around 3,000 votes.

"We talk to exhausted voters around the district every day on the campaign trail, and we hear over and over again how sick and tired they are of the division and dysfunction that define Washington today," Samuels said at the time. "Sadly, many feel that the congresswoman is contributing to this dysfunction and are ready for new leadership focused on building common ground to deliver results for families and working people in the Fifth Congressional District and around the country."

Earlier this month, MPR News reported that Omar had received the coveted endorsement of Minnesota's Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL) at the party's convention at a local high school in Minneapolis, with Omar receiving 133 votes while Samuel garnered 85 votes.

The ongoing conflict in Gaza came up as part of the discussion, and while Omar referred to Israel's actions there as a "genocide," Samuels said the war was a "fraught and very complex situation," and added of his apparently pro-Hamas opponent, "Having a district where there are so many Jews and so many Muslims, instead of becoming a convener for conversations, where the risks are much lower and the tension lower than in the Middle East itself, she has picked a side."

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