Omar fends off primary challenge in Minnesota

Rep. Ilhan OmarIlhan OmarPentagon 'aware' of reports Wisconsin military base's struggle to feed, heat Afghan refugees Progressives push for fossil subsidy repeal in spending bill WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill MORE (D) fended off a primary challenge from Antone Melton-Meaux in Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District on Tuesday, making her the latest member of the so-called squad to win renomination. 

The Associated Press called the race for Omar, who garnered 57 percent of the vote to Melton-Meaux’s 39 percent. Omar will face Lacy Johnson in November after he easily won the GOP primary Tuesday. 

Omar wasn’t the only member of the squad — a group of four progressive women of color in Congress — to overcome a primary challenge this year. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezEnhanced infrastructure plan is the best way to go WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill Feehery: The confidence game MORE (D-N.Y.) and Rashida TlaibRashida Harbi TlaibOvernight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House House passes standalone bill to provide B for Israel's Iron Dome WHIP LIST: How House Democrats say they'll vote on infrastructure bill MORE (D-Mich.) also beat out Democratic rivals this summer.


But Omar faced perhaps the toughest challenge of any of them. Melton-Meaux locked down several notable endorsements and proved to be a prolific fundraiser capable of blanketing the airwaves with ads. In the second quarter of the year, he pulled in $3.2 million to Omar’s $470,000.

Melton-Meaux’s fundraising success forced Omar to go on the offensive in the final stretch of the race. She unleashed an attack accusing Melton-Meaux, a lawyer, of working for “one of the worst union-busting law firms in the country.”

Ocasio-Cortez, meanwhile, sent out mailers in the race alleging that Omar’s challenger was “being propped up by Republican super PACs and GOP megadonors who are threatened by our Squad’s collective power.”

Melton-Meaux carried out his share of attacks as well. He repeatedly went after the first-term lawmaker for missing votes in the House and sought to cast her as being more concerned about her national political ambitions than representing her constituents in Minnesota’s 5th District, which encompasses Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.

Ultimately, Omar’s near-universal name ID in her district, combined with Melton-Meaux’s relatively late traction in the race, helped the Democratic incumbent win her primary. Minnesota’s 5th District is considered safe for Democrats, and Omar is widely expected to hold on to her seat in November.