Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) has won the 2020 Democratic primary, beating her foremost challenger Antone Melton-Meaux. Omar will now face off with Republican candidate Lacy Johnson on Election Day.
Although the votes are still trickling in, Omar has secured the win with 58 percent of the vote compared to Melton-Meaux’s 40 percent.
In all cities excluding Minneapolis, Omar and Melton-Meaux tied in the amount of cities in which they’d earned majority vote. It was Minneapolis that showed up for Omar in a huge way. While Melton-Meaux only received a majority of votes in one neighborhood, Omar amassed double or triple the number of votes everywhere else.
Melton-Meaux conceded to the incumbent Wednesday afternoon.
“We tried to make a space so all voices could be heard. We’ll continue working to bring our community together and to make sure all residents in the district have a voice,” he said.
The website of Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon recorded nearly 3.5 million voters in this year’s primary. The city of Minneapolis published a statement that they were experiencing a 50-year best for voter turnouts with over 103,000 Minneapolis ballots cast.
Omar’s opponent for November, Lacy Johnson, secured nearly 77 percent of votes compared to the other Republican candidates. In a series of tweets subsequent to the news of his primary win, Johnson stated that he would be the leader to “fuel real change” and “focus on the community, not a celebrity status.”
Following news of her win, Omar tweeted a list of promises separating her from other candidates. If reelected, Omar promised she would focus her next few years on advocating for the “average person” and their problems, oppose the president (especially in his desire to ban and deport Muslims), defend global “basic human rights,” and dismantle the “military-industrial complex.”
She wrote in several succeeding tweets that “organized people beat organized money.”
Omar is not the only member of “The Squad” to succeed in her primary. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI-13) won about 75 percent and 66 percent of votes, respectively. Omar stated that their insular group was more than the four who appear frequently in headlines – it is “a multi-racial coalition for the people.”
However, other Democratic incumbents in Minnesota didn’t fare as well as Omar. Senator Erik Simonson lost to attorney Jen McEwen; Senator Jeff Hayden lost to self-described democratic socialist Omar Fateh; and Representative John Lesch lost to Athena Hollins. Currently, Representative Raymond Dehn trails Esther Agbaje by six percentage points.
As for the Senate primary, incumbent Tina Smith (DFL-MN) won with 87 percent of votes. Smith’s opponent for Election Day is Republican candidate Jason Lewis, who secured 78 percent of votes.
Voting by mail or in person will begin September 18, deadlining November 2. The deadline for registering to vote in advance is October 13th. Voters may also register in person on Election Day, November 3.
Absentee ballots postmarked by Tuesday will still be accepted through Thursday. The finalized results of the primary will not be available until early Friday morning.
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Corinne Murdock is a reporter for The Minnesota Sun and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected]. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Ilhan Omar. Photo “Antone Melton-Meaux” by Anonte for Congress.