Local Democrats are seriously considering supporting an unprecedented challenge in the Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar in 2020, following a bipartisan condemnation of some of its claims as anti-Semitic, according to state officials and representatives.
Activists and officials interviewed by The Hill said that although they have not yet recruited a viable alternative candidate to 37-year-old Omar, frustrations are increasing.
"It's definitely a bit of a buzz around this, but it's more of a buzz than anyone talking about finding someone to run against that someone is saying they'll run against her or they will contemplate it, "Republican Ron Latz, a Democrat, told The Hill." Surely we talk about people who want someone to run against her. "
Omar Jamal, a Somali community activist, told Washington Post to have been in contact with the leaders of the Jewish community on Omar. of his campaign, but he called his recent comments, "wrong, point".
"This depends on Ilhan Omar," he said. "He really spoke in a very dangerous way, and it will be up to you to reach people and solve the problem."
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Added Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Relationship Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas: "Our community is exacerbated by promises unfulfilled of Omar to listen and learn from Jewish voters while seeming to find another opportunity simultaneously to make an anti-Semitic and insulting comment to our community. "
Hunegs noted that he had met Omar, a Somali-American woman and of two Muslim women in Congress, after initially suggesting that Jewish politicians were being bought. Omar rekindled the flames later, when he once again suggested that Israel's support groups were urging members of Congress to have "allegiance to a foreign country."
"Unfortunately, having the opportunity to talk to her about that point did not" dissuade her from making that statement, "Hunegs said in an interview with The Hill." We were shocked "
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Omar apologized for his comments and has the support of his Democratic colleagues, even though House Speaker Nancy Pelosi raised her eyebrows before this month when he said that the deputy "does not understand" that some of the words she uses are "full of meaning".
Last week, the Chamber approved a bipartisan resolution condemning hatred of all kinds in the wake of comments from Omar. But the Democrats kept Omar's name out of the resolution, that some Republicans opposed it as a watered-down and uncertain effort.
Any primary challenge would have to face a tough battle, given the strong base of urban support of Omar and his support from the influential Democratic-agricultural-labor party. A spokesman for Omar told The Hill that Omar was not worried.
The demographic changes that contributed to Omar's growth would probably also have helped support his 2020 bid. The Somali community grew up in Minneapolis rapidly in the 90s, when large numbers of Somalis fled from a devastating civil war. Since then, the community has grown with the addition of children born in the United States to these refugees ̵
Minnesota is now home to one of the largest Somali communities in the global diaspora, with an estimated 100,000 inhabitants in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The neighborhood of Cedar-Riverside is the center of the Somali community – and is affectionately nicknamed "Little Mogadishu" – for its ranks of organizations, businesses and mosques based in Somalia.
Fox News & # 39; Hollie McKay and Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report.