Representative Ilhan Omar has drawn a pair of challenges so far from a Republican and an Independent. The latter, a police officer and Iraqi War veteran, has both political and personal reasons to want to see Omar beaten.
But it will be an uphill challenge. Even as nationally Omar’s approval rating hovers in the single-digits, she’s still in a district that has voted so heavily Democrat in recent years it’s considered a non-winnable election for Republicans. Coming in as Independent may be a good angle for Chris Kelley.
So far, there are no Democrats offering to run primary challenge against Omar. One America News reports on Kelley’s entry into the race.
A US Army veteran stakes his claim and launches a 2020 bid against Democrat representative Ilhan Omar for her seat in Congress. Minneapolis police officer Chris Kelley announced his campaign as an independent candidate this week, which touts his record both in the military and public law enforcement.
“I think there are a lot of disaffected you know moderate Democrats out there, and Republicans, who aren’t happy with their parties,” said Kelley.
A 27 year military veteran, he served in the Persian Gulf War from 1990 until 1991 and two tours to the Middle East during the Iraq war in 2004 and 2009. When it comes to Omar, Kelley says he’s had enough of her controversial comments keeping her under the spotlight. More specifically, Kelley says Omar’s comments about the 9/11 terrorists saying, “some people did something,” hit him personally. He says that motivated him to run for her office.
“It’s kind of, it was kind of a slap in the face to me as a first responder,” Kelley continued. “9/11 was the Pearl Harbor of our time, my time, my generation, and to have it dismissively talked about in that way was one of the motivating factors.”
If Kelley’s name seems familiar, it’s because this isn’t his first time running for political office. In 2016 he ran as a Republican for Minnesota’s Senate but failed to win the party’s nomination. When it comes to Medicare-for-All, Kelley says he isn’t on board with a program he claims would increase the deficit. Universal health care has been a staple of the new progressive left’s platform championed by Omar and other freshman lawmakers. And while Kelley disagrees with Omar’s political leanings, he also says Omar needs to answer questions surrounding her marriages and possible campaign tax crimes.
“She can set the record straight. Nobody else can,” he said. “I don’t believe she has. This could be ended if she addresses it.”
Omar already faces at least one other congressional challenger from Republican Danielle Stella, a special education teacher/ However, political analysts are warning anyone seeking to flip her seat about the challenges of winning a historically and heavily blue district.
If anyone can lose the extremely blue district, it’s Ilhan Omar. This would be a huge defeat for Democrats, not just because of where the district is but also because Omar and “The Squad” have become the faces of the Democratic Party.
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