Rep. Ilhan Omar Defends Seat in House, Wins Second Term

By Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan
Janita Kan is a reporter based in New York covering the Justice Department, courts, and First Amendment.
November 3, 2020Updated: November 3, 2020

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) has defended her seat against Republican challenger Lacy Johnson to secure her Minnesota 5th Congressional District seat.

The Associated Press called the race at 9:43 p.m. ET. She earned about 64.7 percent of the vote compared to Johnson who won only 25.8 percent.

Omar, who is a member of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, was first elected in 2018 and was one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress. She rose to prominence due to her aggressive advocacy on liberal issues and her eagerness to publicly take on President Donald Trump.

She is known for being a member of the so-called “squad,” which is made up of four progressive women who were all elected in 2018. Trump has previously called out these lawmakers for pushing a progressive agenda on America.

During her first two years in Congress, she was the subject of widespread scrutiny over remarks that were perceived as anti-American and anti-semitic. She was heavily criticized in 2019 after part of a speech she made at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) fundraiser—during which she said the radical Muslim group was founded after the 9/11 terrorist attacks—surfaced on social media.

During the speech, Omar said CAIR was founded after Sept. 11, 2001, because “some people did something,” which prompted a backlash from politicians, congressional candidates, first responders, and from Trump.

In May, following the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody, Omar advocated for the dismantling of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Johnson, a computer technologist and entrepreneur, told The Epoch Times in an interview in 2019 that he decided to join the contest for the seat because he had become frustrated with what the state of politics had become and the ineffectiveness of representatives the district had voted into Congress.

Johnson said at the time he didn’t think the freshman congresswoman is adequately representing the people in her district.

“She’s more concerned about [being a] national and international celebrity, and the rewards of being in political office and being famous that she hasn’t been resolving the issues facing our districts,” he said.

In a recent interview with Axios, Omar said she expects a liberal turn if Democratic nominee Joe Biden is elected president. She added that she would fight to try and make sure Biden’s policies are not too moderate while adding that she wants all Cabinet positions filled with progressives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.