Ilhan Omar, Don Samuels election rematch ahead

Minnesotans are preparing to voice their vote. Super Tuesday is just three weeks from today, primary day is just six months away and the general election is just shy of nine months away.

Between all of those ballots, voters can expect some familiar names.

Two years ago, Don Samuels began his bid for Congress in late April.

Ilhan Omar was seen as a safe incumbent in the 5th district, where she’s had solid support from progressives.

But she won the DFL primary by only 2,500 votes, which is why Samuels began this time in November. Six months away from the primary, he believes there’s an even larger appetite for his style.

"These are divisive times – there’s a lot of rancor out there. They say 35% of Americans no longer speak to a friend or a family member," Samuels told FOX 9. "And so there’s a lot of tension being driven by political leadership. And in a solid democratic district, that rancor continues."

Rep. Ilhan Omar and challenger Don Samuels (FOX 9)

Omar’s response is to tout her time in Washington gaining a high profile in pushing a progressive agenda – very vocal in defending women’s abortion rights.

But she has become a lightning rod all along the way. Professor David Schultz sees her race as one of the highest profile in the nation and it’s for a primary.

Her stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict solidifies support in some corners and alienates it in others.

"Ilhan Omar has taken on such a national status for her support of the Palestinians, and criticism of Israel, that I think this is going to be a race that attracts incredible amounts of attention – as it already has – and a lot more national money," Schultz said.

As for Samuels, he knows the spotlight will grow, and national attention could be tough for both of them.

"I’m totally available, totally accessible, totally vulnerable, and that’s how we’re going to win this race – by being the people’s candidate," Samuels said.