Rep. Ilhan Omar has announced she will run for a third term representing Minnesota’s Fifth District – after 29 of her colleagues have opted not to defend their seats in November.
Omar, 39, was first elected in 2019 becoming the first Somali American in Congress.
And she quickly rose to prominence as a member of the ‘Squad’ – a small grouping of ultra liberal lawmakers, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib.
At times she has attracted as much anger from her Democratic colleagues – some of whom rebuked her last year for comments that seemed to liken the US and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban – as Republicans.
‘When I first ran for this office there was one thing I kept coming back to. Something I said to myself and to the voters over and over: I believe that a better world is possible,’ she said as she announced her intention to run.
‘I still believe that.’
Her decision comes amid a string of retirements by other Democratic members of Congress.
Last week, Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennessee became the 29th to say he was not seeking reelection, amid fears that they face devastating results in November.
Rep. Ilhan Omar announced on Monday night that she will run for a third term representing Minnesota’s Fifth District – after 29 other Democratic members said they will not stand again
‘I still believe in a world where we choose peace over war, diplomacy over bellicosity, and the human rights of all people over the profits of the military-industrial complex,’ she said
Like many others he blamed redistricting, and accused state Republicans of ‘dismembering Nashville.’
Democrats can afford to lose only three seats to maintain a majority in the House. But with President Joe Biden’s numbers heavily underwater they could lose a lot more than that.
When Omar ran for reelection in 2020, she chose the slogan, ‘Send her back to Congress!’ in a dig at then President Donald Trump who said that she and other black congresswomen should ‘go back’ to their countries.
‘I still believe in a world where we choose peace over war, diplomacy over bellicosity, and the human rights of all people over the profits of the military-industrial complex,’ she said in comments posted to Facebook.
‘A world where we put human rights at the center of U.S. foreign policy, oppose war and militarism and pursue accountability for human rights abuses wherever they occur.
‘If you believe a better world is possible, join me.’
Last year she triggered controversy with tweets that accused the U.S. of committing ‘unthinkable atrocities,’ alongside Hamas, Israel and the Taliban.
‘We must have the same level of accountability and justice for all victims of crimes against humanity,’ she wrote, alongside video of her quizzing Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a committee hearing in the House of Representatives.
It came soon after hostilities ended between Hamas and Israel in the Middle East.
A group of Democrats said her ‘false equivalence’ gave cover to terrorist groups.
Rep. Jim Cooper of Tennesse became the 29th Democrat to announce he will not be running for re-election this year as the party fears losing control of Congress in November
‘Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,’ wrote the group, led by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler.
‘Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organizations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice.’
Two years earlier she had to apologize for suggesting that American support for Israel was fueled by political donations from a pro-Israel lobby group when she was accused of perpetuating ‘anti-Semitic tropes.’
‘Anti-Semitism is real and I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,’ she said at the time.
‘My intention is never to offend my constituents or Jewish Americans as a whole.’
Her supporters say she has been an effective member during her four years in Congress.
And she has helped pass eight bills and amendments into law through four years of being in office, she said as she launched her campaign for reelection.