Dem candidate in contested North Carolina race refunds donation from Omar campaign

Dem candidate in contested North Carolina race refunds donation from Omar campaign
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Dan McCready, the Democratic candidate in the hotly contested House race for North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, refunded a donation from Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarIlhan Omar responds to 'Conservative Squad': 'Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery' Biden narrowly ahead in Iowa as Sanders surges, Warren drops: poll Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire MORE's (D-Minn.) campaign last month, Federal Election Commission filings show.

Omar's campaign initially donated $2,000 to McCready’s campaign on Nov. 6. The total was refunded on March 30, filings show.

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“Dan feels strongly that there is no place for divisiveness in our politics. Our campaign is focused on bringing people together. As such, Dan felt it was appropriate to return the donation from then-candidate Omar,” McCready campaign spokesman Aaron Simpson said in a statement to The Hill. 

The return came as Omar continued to face sharp controversy for her comments about pro-Israel lobbying groups that were widely panned as anti-Semitic.

The Minnesota Democrat became the focus of bipartisan criticism after she suggested in February that pro-Israel lobbying groups were pushing “for allegiance to a foreign country” and wrote in since-deleted tweets that U.S. politicians' defense of Israel was “all about the Benjamins baby.”

Critics said the comments invoked anti-Semitic tropes.

The comments prompted the House to vote on an anti-hate resolution which “encourages all public officials to confront the reality of anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, racism, and other forms of bigotry, as well as historical struggles against them, to ensure that the United States will live up to the transcendent principles of tolerance, [and] religious freedom."

The House resolution was originally expected to condemn anti-Semitism alone and was prompted by Omar's comments, though it did not name the Minnesota congresswoman.

Omar’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the McCready campaign’s refund.

McCready ran for the still-vacant North Carolina House seat last year against Republican Mark HarrisMark HarrisBevin says he lost because liberals are 'good at harvesting votes' in urban areas The Hill's Campaign Report: Democrats clash over future of party in heated debate Why my American Indian tribe voted Republican in NC's special election MORE. The race was marred by widespread allegations of election fraud by the Harris campaign, calling into question the election's validity and prompting state election officials in February to call a new election.

Harris later announced that he would not be running again to represent the district. Republicans have held the district for decades and President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate gears up for battle over witnesses in impeachment trial Vulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Trump appears to set personal record for tweets in a day MORE won there by nearly 12 points in 2016.

Ten Republicans so far are vying in the primary race to face off against McCready in the new general election, which is slated for Sept. 10. That date could be pushed back to November if no candidate secures at least 30 percent needed to win the nomination.

McCready announced last week he had raised $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2019.