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Ilhan Omar Makes Bid To Become The First Somali-American Member Of Congress

Ilhan Omar Makes Bid To Become The First Somali-American Member Of Congress


Political trailblazer, Ilhan Omar, recently filed paperwork to become Minnesota’s 5th district Congressional representative.

In 2016, Omar was elected as the nation's first Somali-American, Muslim woman legislator when she won a seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives. But she's not done making history, as she just made a bid to become the first Somali-American to be elected to to the United States Congress.

Omar, who grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp and eventually immigrated to the United States, told the Daily Nation, "My success is not only for me but for every Somali, Muslim and minority group, particularly the young girls in the Dadaab refugee camp, where I lived before coming to the U.S." 

Democratic Representative, Keith Ellison, recently withdrew from seeking a re-election bid to continue to hold his seat in the 5th district, which prompted Omar’s decision to step up. When elected in 2008, Ellison became the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress. He has recently decided to run to become Minnesota’s next Attorney General leaving an opportunity for Omar to assume his seat and continue his progressive and inclusive legacy. 

In her formal statement announcing her Congressional run, Omar shared: "A voice like mine has never been heard in Washington D.C. As your next Congresswoman, I will fight for criminal justice and policing reform; affordable and accessible education and housing; healthcare for all; environmental justice; and racial, economic, and social equity. As both an organizer and a legislator, I have been pushing back against the profusion of bigotry and hate sweeping our nation, and I am ready to bring that fight to Capitol Hill."

Omar has received a lot of support and encouragement, including Minnesota Governor, Mark Dayton, who has endorsed her. Should she be elected, Omar will also be the first Muslim woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The Minnesota's primary election is set to take place on Tuesday, August 14.