MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Speaking on Monday, Representative Ilhan Omar threw her support behind two candidates taking on Mayor Jacob Frey for Minneapolis mayor, while telling votes not to rank Frey at all on the November ballot.
During the news conference outside Minneapolis City Hall, Rep. Omar urged Minneapolis voters to rank candidates Kate Knuth and Sheila Nezhad.
Minneapolis uses a ranked-choice voting system, so second choices matter. Rep. Omar made it clear that no matter who voters choose, she doesn't think re-electing Frey is the right move.
A key component of her support for Frey's challengers is public safety. Both Knuth and Nezhad have come out in support of the charter amendment that would remove and replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety, with Nezhad co-authoring the amendment petition.
While Frey has backed "community-led" changes and other policing reforms, he has opposed the amendment change, particularly in light of the rising crime the city has faced over the last two years.
Rep. Omar believes that Knuth's and Nezhad's respective plans balance providing a safe community for Minneapolis residents while bringing visible change to the police force in the aftermath of George Floyd's killing.
"We all want safer communities," said Omar. "We all want to go outside without worrying we will face violence. But instead of rebuilding trust in the wake of George Floyd's murder, the mayor has sided with the very department that took his life and the police union that blocks so much needed change."
In a statement to FOX 9, Frey's campaign issued a statement from the mayor addressing Rep. Omar's anti-endorsement:
"It’s no surprise that the Congresswoman -- one of the most consistent and outspoken advocates of defunding the police -- is supporting candidates who embrace that approach.
"This election must mark a turning point.
"Minneapolis has an opportunity to both rebuild a more just, community-oriented police department and implement deep structural change. My focus is on seizing that opportunity and building a coalition committed to honest, meaningful reforms."