Rep. Ilhan Omar defeats Democratic primary challenger

After losing her father to COVID-19, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar emerges victorious in her fight to retain her office during a combative primary election

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A third member of The Squad has defeated an aggressive challenger to retain her seat in the House of Representatives. 

Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota defeated Antone Melton-Meaux, an attorney who ran a well-funded campaign to retain her seat. Squad members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan also faced similar challenges and overcame them. 

READ MORE: Ilhan Omar working on law to investigate all officer-involved incidents

Progressive candidates have fared well during this primary election cycle.

In Missouri, Cori Bush defeated incumbent William Lacy Clay who held the seat his father had previously held. The family had been in the House for 51 years. 

Jamaal Bowman defeated House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel in New York. 

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., respond to base remarks by President Donald Trump after he called for the four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their "broken” countries, as he exploited the nation’s glaring racial divisions for political gain, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, July 15, 2019. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S. Rep. Omar is the first Somali-American in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rep. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., respond to base remarks by the president, after he called for the four Democratic congresswomen of color to go back to their “broken” countries.
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Omar’s challenger claimed that the rep was just trying to build her national profile. “We don’t need another celebrity. We don’t need dividers. We need people that are going to work and unite us to challenge and take hold of these problems that we face as a community,” Melton-Meaux said. 

He also suggested that Omar had “unnecessarily” engaged in “Twitter fights” with President Donald Trump

In a statement on Twitter, Omar said, “Tonight, our movement didn’t just win. We earned a mandate for change. Despite outside efforts to defeat us, we once again broke turnout records.” 

She said, “It has been the honor of my life to represent you in Congress and I look forward to continuing to serve the people of the 5th District in the years to come.”

READ MORE: Rep. Ilhan Omar’s father dies from COVID-19 complications

Omar lost her father this year to COVID-19 and in an interview with Medium, she tearfully spoke about her father saying, “He was my mother and father and my best friend. To have someone be so constant in your life and within the span of two weeks just be gone, it’s hard on levels that I don’t even know how to fully articulate yet.”

In 2018, Omar and Tlaib made history as the first two Muslim women to be elected to Congress. 

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