Minnesota Incumbent Survives US House Primary Challenge From Progressive

By Jeff Louderback
Jeff Louderback
Jeff Louderback
Jeff Louderback is a national reporter for The Epoch Times who is based in Ohio and covers U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial races in Ohio and surrounding states.
August 9, 2022 Updated: August 10, 2022

Eleven-term incumbent Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) prevailed over community organizer Amane Badhasso, a refugee from Ethiopia, in Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District Democratic primary.

McCollum, 68, is the longest-serving member of Minnesota’s congressional delegation.

With 26 percent of the votes counted at 11 p.m. ET, McCollum drew 84 percent of the vote to Badhasso’s 14 percent.

Badhasso is a progressive Democrat who hoped to join Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), and Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) on the “squad” in Congress.

Tlaib and Bush won their respective Democratic primaries last week.

In a statement after she announced her candidacy, Badhasso explained why she entered the race.

“I am running for Congress because we need a new generation of progressive Democrats,” Badhasso said.

“They are not addressing the issue of the climate catastrophe. They’re not addressing the issue of income inequality. They’re not addressing the issue of systemic racism in this country,” Badhasso added. “And what we need is somebody that’s accountable to the folks in the district.”

First elected in 2001, McCollum is a friend to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and chairs an appropriations subcommittee that authors the Pentagon’s annual budget.

Badhasso said that McCollum is not progressive enough.

Earlier in her campaign, Badhasso told reporters that “we need leaders who are more empathetic, who aren’t beholden to special interests, who will fight for folks here and folks abroad. We need a dramatic change in leadership across the board.”

McCollum defended her track record of more than 21 years in Congress.

“Experience matters,” McCollum told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “You want a doctor with experience, you want a car mechanic with experience, you want a plumber who knows what they’re doing. And right now, with the way the economy is, and what’s happening with women’s rights and voting rights, people feel good about the experience that I’ve had and the work that I do.”

Gene Rechtzigel, Jerry Silver, and May Lor Xiong were on the ballot in the 4th District’s Republican primary.

Political analysts rate the district “solid Democratic” for the general election.

Jeff Louderback is a national reporter for The Epoch Times who is based in Ohio and covers U.S. Senate, U.S. House and gubernatorial races in Ohio and surrounding states.