Omar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat

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

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Undocumented aliens should stay away as COVID-19 rages in the US The Southern Poverty Law Center and yesterday's wars 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 TlaibDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order Pressley, Tlaib introduce bill providing .5B in emergency grants for the homeless 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) KhannaDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Defense Production Act urgently needed for critical medical gear 20 House Dems call on Trump to issue two-week, nationwide shelter-in-place order 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 WoodallOmar endorses progressive Georgia Democrat running for House seat House candidate asks FEC to let her use campaign funds for health insurance House Democrats launch effort to register minority voters in key districts 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 ClintonTrump, Biden set for tight battle in Florida We need to be 'One America,' the polling says — and the politicians should listen Poll shows Biden with 6-point edge on Trump in Florida MORE in 2016 and Democrat Stacey Abrams for governor in 2018.

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