by Scott McClallen
Incumbent Democrat Ilhan Omar defeated Republican Lacy Johnson by a landslide to clinch the seat for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District.
According to the Associated Press, Omar seized more than 65% of the vote, or over 232,000 votes compared to Johnson’s 25.2%, or 89,000 votes, with 90% of precincts reporting.
Omar, a Somali-American refugee, won the DFL Party’s endorsement and is a member of “the Squad” – the collective name given newly elected Democratic women of color in Congress after the 2018 election, including New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez; Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib; and Massachusetts’ Ayanna Pressley.
Omar has campaigned on progressive priorities such as health care for all, the Green New Deal, debt-free public college education, and defunding the police.
Johnson, a Black businessman from north Minneapolis, is a first-time political candidate with an information technology and entrepreneurial background.
Johnson focused on reforming education, rebuilding the struggling economy, and bringing back “law and order” in the Twin Cities, especially in Minneapolis, which has endured a five-year high of shootings and increasing homicide numbers topping 2019’s numbers.
Johnson supports the 2nd Amendment, individual freedom and free enterprise competition, according to his campaign page.
Omar previously defeated Democrat Antone Melton-Meaux in August, who had argued Omar was more focused on her celebrity status than representing constituents. Melton-Meaux supported his appraisal of Omar by pointing out her Twitter feuds with President Donald Trump and others.
Omar had garnered 57% of the August vote, or 92,00 votes, while Melton-Meaux took 39%, almost 30,000 fewer votes.
In the 2018 Democratic primary, Omar won 48.2% of the vote over her closest competitor’s 30.4%.
Johnson had won the GOP primary with 8,742 votes, while Omar garnered 92,000 votes.
The Fifth Congressional District has been blue since the early 1960s.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Ilhan Omar and Supporters” by Ilhan Omar.