MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - State Rep. Ilhan Omar took home the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party endorsement for Minnesota's fifth congressional district race Sunday afternoon at the party's convention.
Omar declared her candidacy two weeks ago after incumbent Keith Ellison's surprise withdrawal from the race to pursue the open state Attorney General position.
She became the nation's first Somali-American lawmaker when she was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2016. She represents District 60, which covers all of Minneapolis east of the Mississippi River, as well as some areas across the river from the University of Minnesota, including the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood.
"Omar represents what’s great about America," state DFL Chairman Ken Martin said in a statement. "Raised by a family of public servants who were forced from their homeland because of civil war and after four years in a refugee camp immigrated to the U.S., Omar has shown her dedication to serving all families who want a better life for their children."
Two other candidates, Patricia Torres Ray and Frank Drake, formally sought the endorsement and ultimately lost, with Drake eliminated in the first round of voting and Omar winning on the second ballot. At least two others, Margaret Anderson Keliher and Jamal Abdi Abulahi, plan to run in the primary but did not seek the party's endorsement Sunday.