Omar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat

Omar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat
© Greg Nash

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid Black lives and the CBC: What happens to a dream deferred? MORE (D-Minn.) announced her support Tuesday for Nabilah Islam, a progressive candidate running for an open House seat in Georgia that Democrats are hoping to flip.

Omar touted Islam’s shared support for progressive policies like “Medicare for All,” the Green New Deal and tuition-free college. She also championed Islam as a leader capable of pushing for such changes.

“We need a movement that is powered by people, not corporate power, to create the change we want to see in Georgia and around the country — and Nabilah Islam is the leader to do that,” Omar said in a statement. “As the daughter of immigrants and a champion for working women, Nabilah has been on the frontlines of the progressive movement.”

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In her endorsement, Omar lauded Islam’s unprecedented request asking the Federal Election Commission to let her use campaign funds to purchase health insurance, highlighting the barriers in place for working-class Americans to run for federal office.

If elected, the 30-year-old candidate would be the first Bangladeshi American woman in Congress. She would also be the third Muslim woman elected to Congress, joining Omar and Rep. Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibThe Hill's Campaign Report: Colorado, Utah primary results bring upsets, intrigue Progressive lawmakers call for conditions on Israel aid Ocasio-Cortez pitches interns to work for her instead of McConnell MORE (D-Mich.), who were elected to their first terms in 2018.

“Rep. Ilhan Omar is a political and personal role model for me, and I’m humbled to receive her endorsement. Growing up, I didn’t believe someone who looked like me could enter the halls of power and shape this country — until Ilhan showed me,” Islam said in a statement.

Omar is the latest high-profile progressive lawmaker in Congress to endorse Islam. Rep. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaHouse panel votes to limit Trump's Germany withdrawal It's time to eliminate land-based nuclear missiles Stronger patent rights would help promote US technological leadership MORE (D-Calif.) endorsed her earlier this month.

Islam faces a handful of Democratic candidates vying for the party's nomination, including Carolyn Bourdeaux, who narrowly lost to GOP Rep. Rob WoodallWilliam (Rob) Robert WoodallDemocrat Carolyn Bourdeaux wins Georgia House primary, avoids runoff after final count The Hill's Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Democrats head to runoff in top Georgia House race MORE in 2018. Woodall announced last year that he wouldn’t seek reelection.

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There are even more Republicans running in the GOP primary.

The seat has long been held by Republicans, but recent elections have signaled a shift in the electorate’s demographics. Gwinnett County, which makes up a large portion of the 7th Congressional District, voted for former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonCarville repeats prediction that Trump will drop out of race What's behind Trump's slump? Americans are exhausted, for one thing Trump campaign reserves air time in New Mexico MORE in 2016 and Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor in 2018.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates the seat as a toss-up.