Minnesota Primary Election results: Rep. Ilhan Omar wins close race

U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar has been declared the winner of the Democratic primary for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, after a stiff challenge from Don Samuels.

Omar secured 50.5% of the vote, while Samuels won 48% of the vote, as of 9:21 p.m. on Tuesday, with 96.8% of votes counted. The race was separated by a few thousand votes. 

Samuels conceded the race just before 9:30 p.m.

Omar didn't host a watch party as results came in and only issued a statement on Samuels' concession:

"Six years ago, when I ran and defeated a 44-year incumbent, nobody thought it was possible that a Muslim, immigrant, refugee, Black, hijabi woman could get elected. I’m now honored to be on the path to serve the people of the 5th Congressional District for a 3rd term in the U.S. House of Representatives.

"Millions of dollars have been spent to unseat us. Republicans and conservative Democrats have worked in lockstep to vote us out. Corporations and special interest groups have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads against us. Pundits and news agencies have tried to smear us and undermine our work.

"Tonight’s victory is a testament to how much our district believes in the collective values we are fighting for and how much they’re willing to do to help us overcome defeat. This win is for them and everyone who still believes that hate, division and regression will not be the legacy of the Fifth."

Crime emerged as the biggest issue in the primary campaign. Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council member, opposed the movement to defund the police and last year helped defeat efforts to replace the Minneapolis Police Department. Meanwhile, Omar supported the referendum.

Omar is used to competitive primaries by now but this race wasn't expected to be as close as it was. She won the seat in 2018 after defeating Margaret Anderson Kelliher in the Democratic primary. She held the seat in 2020 after a battle with political newcomer Antone Melton-Meaux.  

Other Democratic candidates on the primary ballot include AJ Kern and Albert Ross.

GOP CD-5 primary

Republican Cicely Davis beat out Royce White and Guy T. Gaskin for the GOP nomination, meaning Davis will be up against Omar on the November ballot.

Davis secured 48.1% of the vote. White won 37% of the vote, while Gaskin tallied 14.9%, as of 9:27 p.m. with about 94% of precincts reporting. 

You can find the results of the other U.S. House races here.

Minnesota primary election results

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