Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) overwhelmingly won reelection this cycle despite attacks from her opponent and President Trump. Omar’s hands-on campaigning also helped deliver her state as a win for the Biden-Harris ticket. Part of the progressive squad in the U.S. House, Omar intends to help shape the course of the 117th Congress. Omar will join Jonathan Capehart for a one-on-one discussion about the election, her legislative goals and more.

Highlights

During his 2020 campaign rallies and throughout his presidency, President Trump has personally attacked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.). She says his attacks are something "to analyze, and to understand, and to reckon with." "I thought a lot about...what that attack on me has meant for the people who see themselves in me – whether it is Muslims, whether it is Black women, immigrants, refugees...It's really something to analyze, and to understand, and to reckon with." (Washington Post Live)
When asked if Democrats lost certain seats because of the message candidates ran on instead of how they reached constituents, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) said, “The responsibility is on the candidate themselves to figure out which messages work…Obviously, we have a message as Democrats about what it means to address the needs of the American people, but tailoring that message…in the way its best suitable is something you only understand as a candidate…Our challenge is figuring out how do we run a 21st century campaign and that is not only about message, that is about how are you going to be in front of people getting your message to them...For someone who had $17 million to spend against them, I'm here because I figured out proper ways to reach my constituents." (Washington Post Live)
Commenting on Republicans picking up seats in the House this election cycle, Rep. Ilhan Omar said, "I think for a lot of my colleagues who've lost, they've expressed how there was a lot of concentration...the nation's attention was on sending Trump packing, and for a lot of us that win, in itself, was the victory we were after." (Washington Post Live)

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.)

Rep. Ilhan Omar represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, which includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs.

An experienced Twin Cities policy analyst, organizer, public speaker and advocate, Rep. Omar was sworn into office in January 2019, making her the first Somali-American Member of Congress, the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim-American women elected to Congress.

As a legislator, Rep. Omar is committed to fighting for the shared values of the 5th District, values that put people at the center of our democracy. She plans to focus on tackling many of the issues that she hears about most from her constituents, like investing in education and freeing students from the shackles of debt; ensuring a fair wage for a hard day’s work; creating a just immigration system and tackling the existential threat of climate change.

Rep. Omar also plans to resist attempts to divide us and push destructive policies that chip away at our rights and freedoms—and to build a more inclusive and compassionate culture, one that will allow our economy to flourish and encourage more Americans to participate in our democracy.

Born in Somalia, Rep. Omar and her family fled the country’s civil war when she was eight. The family spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before coming to the United States in 1990s. In 1997, she moved to Minneapolis with her family. As a teenager, Rep. Omar’s grandfather inspired her to get involved in politics. Before running for office, she worked as a community educator at the University of Minnesota, was a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and served as a Senior Policy Aide for the Minneapolis City Council.

In 2016 she was elected as the Minnesota House Representative for District 60B, making her the highest-elected Somali-American public official in the United States and the first Somali-American State Legislator. Rep. Omar served as the Assistant Minority Leader, with assignments to three house committees; Civil Law & Data Practices Policy, Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy and Finance, and State Government Finance.