Attacks sharpen divisions in Minnesota battle between Ilhan Omar and Antone Melton-Meaux


Renee Jones Schneider – Star Tribune

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, seen at a July 7 news conference at the state Capitol, is facing a well-financed challenger in the DFL primary race.

Ads and new attacks are flying across Minneapolis' Fifth Congressional District as first-term U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar seeks to fend off a well-funded primary challenge in one of the safest Democratic districts in the nation.

The contest between Omar, a DFL-endorsed incumbent with a national profile, and attorney Antone Melton-Meaux, a relative newcomer to politics, has spurred millions of dollars in campaign spending, a surge in volunteer activity and a barrage of negative claims from both sides. The efforts are expected to intensify, with two weeks to go until the Aug. 11 primary.

Omar, one of several progressive women of color in Congress facing a serious primary challenge this year, won the Minneapolis-based district with 78% of the vote in 2018. But her national profile and large sums raised and spent on behalf of both rival campaigns of the race have increased interest - and internal DFL divisions - ahead of a five-way primary.


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