Omar ekes out House primary win over centrist in Minnesota

Aug 8, 2022, 9:17 AM | Updated: Aug 10, 2022, 7:37 pm
Minnesota 5th Congressional District candidate Don Samuels speaks at his primary election night wat...

Minnesota 5th Congressional District candidate Don Samuels speaks at his primary election night watch party Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2022, at Canopy by Hilton Minneapolis Mill District in Minneapolis. (Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)

(Carlos Gonzalez/Star Tribune via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, a member of the progressive Squad, eked out a closer-than-expected Democratic primary victory Tuesday against a centrist challenger who questioned the incumbent’s support for the “defund the police” movement.

The evening went far smoother for another progressive, Becca Balint, who won the Democratic House primary in Vermont — positioning her to become the first woman representing the state in Congress.

In Minnesota, a Republican was headed to Congress to serve the remaining months of the late Rep. Jim Hagedorn’s term.

And a key race was unfolding in western Wisconsin, where Democratic Rep. Ron Kind’s retirement after 26 years in office opens up a seat in a district that has been trending Republican. The GOP nominee vying to replace Kind is a former Navy SEAL who attended the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021, which preceded the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Some of the top elections:

OMAR SURVIVES TOUGH CHALLENGE

Omar, who represents Minneapolis and is one of the left’s leading voices in Congress, has defended calls to redirect public safety funding more into community-based programs. She squared off with former City Councilmember Don Samuels, whose north Minneapolis base suffers from more violent crime than other parts of the city.

Samuels argued that Omar is divisive and helped defeat a ballot question last year that sought to replace the city police department with a new public safety unit. He and others also successfully sued the city to force it to meet minimum police staffing levels called for in Minneapolis’ charter.

Samuels said his narrow loss shows that Omar is beatable: “If this was the general election, no doubt that we would have won this race.” Omar countered, “Tonight’s victory is a testament to how much our district believes in the collective values we are fighting for.”

Barb Atkinson, a 53-year-old part-time event planner for a radio station who supported Samuels, called Omar “too far to the left.”

“Although I respect Ilhan Omar and what she’s done, I disagree with the defund the police. I really think that wording sends the wrong message,” Atkinson said. She added, “We need our leaders to work together to solve this issue.”

Omar, who is seeking her third term in the House, had crushed a similar primary challenge two years ago from a well-funded but lesser-known opponent.

“She’s had a lot of adversity already and pushback. I don’t think her work is done,” said Kathy Ward, a 62-year-old property caretaker for an apartment building in Minneapolis who voted for Omar. “We’ve got to give her a chance.”

Two other members of the Squad — Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Rep. Cori Bush of Missouri — won their Democratic primaries last week.

TWO ELECTIONS, ONE SEAT IN SOUTHERN MINNESOTA

Voters in southern Minnesota, meanwhile, were deciding two races related to the same seat vacated by Republican Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who died earlier this year from cancer.

Republican Brad Finstad, who served in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the Trump administration, won a special election to serve the remaining months of Hagedorn’s term. Finstad defeated Democrat Jeff Ettinger, a former chief executive at Hormel Foods, in a race that was closer than anticipated in the Republican-leaning district. Both had won a May 24 special primary election to advance to Tuesday’s contest.

Finstad and Ettinger will face off again in November for a full term in the district — it includes Rochester and Mankato — after each secured his party’s nomination Tuesday. Ettinger faced minimal primary opposition, while Finstad had little trouble dispatching state Rep. Jeremy Munson. Munson said he doesn’t think President Joe Biden’s victory was legitimate — despite federal and state election officials, courts and Trump’s own attorney general saying there was no credible evidence the 2020 presidential election was tainted.

REPLACING RON KIND

Republicans see a pickup opportunity in Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District, the seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Kind.

The district covers a swath of counties along Wisconsin’s western border with Minnesota and includes La Crosse and Eau Claire. Republican Derrick Van Orden was unopposed in his primary Tuesday and has Trump’s endorsement.

Van Orden narrowly lost to Kind in the 2020 general election. He attended Trump’s “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House but has said he never stepped foot on the grounds of the Capitol during the insurrection.

State Sen. Brad Pfaff topped three other Democrats to secure the party’s nomination and will face Van Orden in the fall. Pfaff, a onetime state agriculture secretary, had previously worked for Kind and received his endorsement.

RARE VERMONT OPEN SENATE SEAT

Vermont is the last state in the country yet to add a female member to its congressional delegation. Balint, who immediately becomes the favorite in November’s general election, would also be the first openly gay member of Congress from Vermont.

She was endorsed by some of the nation’s leading leaders on the left, including Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

“Vermont has chosen a bold, progressive vision for the future, and I will be proud to represent us in Congress,” Balint said in a statement.

Balint is vying to fill the state’s lone House seat, which is being vacated by Rep. Peter Welch who is running for Senate and easily secured the Democratic nomination on Tuesday. Welch is trying to succeed Sen. Patrick Leahy, the Senate’s longest-serving member, who is retiring, creating Vermont’s first open Senate seat since 2006, when Sanders succeeded Jim Jeffords.

Balint defeated Lt. Gov. Molly Gray, an ex-staffer for Welch and has been backed by Leahy and former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean. In November, she’ll face Liam Madden, a Marine Corps veteran from Bellows Falls who secured the Republican nomination.

___

Associated Press writers Steve Karnowski, Doug Glass and Trisha Ahmed in Minneapolis, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis., and Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt., contributed to this report.

___

Follow AP for full coverage of the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ap_politics.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo from Flickr...
Associated Press

Washington kills 2 wolves to prevent preying on cattle

Biologists working for Washington have killed two members of the Leadpoint wolf pack this week in an effort to stop the pack from preying on cattle
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Abortion info fight targets university but affects far more

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A box truck equipped with a bright LED billboard began circling around the University of Idaho campus Friday. “Pregnant? You still have a choice,” read one of the bright blue-and-white messages flashing across the side. “You can still get abortion pills by mail,” read another message. The moving billboard was a […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Russia vetoes UN resolution calling its referendums illegal

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Russia vetoed a U.N. resolution Friday that would have condemned its “illegal” referendums in four Ukrainian regions, declared that they have “no validity” and urged all countries not to recognize any “purported annexation” of the territory by Moscow. The vote on the resolution in the 15-member Security Council was 10-1, with […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Michigan man charged in shooting of anti-abortion canvasser

ODESSA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan homeowner has been charged with shooting and wounding an 84-year-old woman who was canvassing door-to-door against a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee the right to abortion in the state. Richard Harvey was charged Friday on charges of felonious assault and reckless discharge of a firearm causing injury […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Closing prices for crude oil, gold and other commodities

Benchmark U.S. crude oil for November delivery fell $1.74 to $79.49 a barrel Friday. Brent crude for November delivery fell 53 cents to $87.96 a barrel. Wholesale gasoline for October delivery fell 4 cents to $2.47 a gallon. October heating oil fell 5 cents to $3.37 a gallon. November natural gas fell 11 cents to […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

2 men arrested in probe of boy’s killing in attack on SUV

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two men have been arrested in the investigation of the killing of a 12-year-old boy in an shooting attack last year on an SUV near a school playground in Los Angeles, police said Friday. Police said Friday that Damian Ulysses Martinez, 21, and Gabriel Martinez, 19, both of the community of […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Omar ekes out House primary win over centrist in Minnesota