Ilhan Omar: US politician survives Minnesota Democratic primary

Democrats in Wisconsin nominate challenger to vulnerable incumbent Republican senator

US Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar waves to supporters, in Minneapolis. Star Tribune / AP
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US Democratic Representative Ilhan Omar narrowly won her primary challenge against a centrist opponent who questioned the 'Squad' member's “defund the police” movement.

Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels helped defeat a ballot last year that would have replaced the city's police department with a new public safety unit. Mr Samuels said that the narrow defeat shows that Ms Omar is beatable.

“If this was the general election, no doubt that we would have won this race,” he said.

Ms Omar countered: “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.”

The progressive congresswoman's victory comes a week after two of her Squad colleagues — Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib — sailed through their respective primary contests.

Ms Omar is seeking her third term in Congress.

Abortion foes win Republican governor nominations

In a sign that abortion will remain a central issue for the midterm elections in November, Republican voters in Minnesota and Wisconsin nominated anti-abortion candidates for governor.

In Minnesota, former state senator Scott Jensen said he would seek to ban most abortions. He will challenge Democratic governor Tim Waltz.

Meanwhile, Edison Research projected that Republican construction magnate Tim Michels will face Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers. Mr Michels, endorsed by Donald Trump, has echoed the former president's 2020 election falsehoods.

He also promised to enforce a 19th-century abortion ban that went into effect after the US Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to the procedure.

Senate majority at stake in Wisconsin

In addition to its hotly contested gubernatorial race, Wisconsin will also host a closely-watched Senate race in November that likely will determine which party controls the upper chamber of Congress.

Democrats on Tuesday nominated Lt Governor Mandela Barnes, who will challenge incumbent Ron Johnson, seen as one of the most vulnerable Republicans.

The Senate is currently divided 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris casting tiebreaking votes.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: August 11, 2022, 6:40 AM
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