Ilhan Omar files to run for Keith Ellison's seat in Congress

The state lawmaker was only elected in 2016.
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It's not even been two years since Ilhan Omar was elected to public office, and already she's looking to take a step up.

The state lawmaker for Cedar Riverside in Minneapolis on Tuesday filed to run for Keith Ellison's soon-to-be-vacant 5th District seat in this November's mid-terms.

The political rookie has enjoyed a stratospheric rise to prominence since winning the DFL primary ahead of incumbent Phyllis Kahn in summer 2016, followed by the 60B election that November.

Speaking to reporters, she said "I know what it feels like to be a young family looking for opportunity in the United States, paying off your college debt and not knowing if you'll have enough to send your kids to college."

"I'm excited to go and be a voice for the voiceless at the Capitol," she added. "I have shown myself to be someone who shows up, takes on the hard fight and delivers, and I am ready to do the same thing for Congressional District 5 and the people of our state."

After making history as the first Somali-American to be elected to public office in America, she has become a political celebrity, appearing on "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah," featuring on the cover of "Time" magazine, and last week popping up in a Maroon 5 video.

She had launched her re-election campaign for her 60B seat in January, though now appears to be aiming for a seat in Congress, where she would become the first Somali-American to hold national office if successful.

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She faces competition for the DFL nomination from former Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state Sen. Patricia Torres, who both filed on Tuesday.

It comes after a few days of chopping and changing within the Democratic Party, with Attorney General Lori Swanson dropping out of her re-election bid to run for governor, prompting Ellison to run for AG, creating a vacuum that Omar, Kelliher and Torres seek to fill.

District 5 is staunchly Democrat, with Ellison winning re-election by 47 points in 2016.

Republican candidates for office meanwhile have had a much calmer day, with Tim Pawlenty filing on Tuesday as he prepares to face Jeff Johnson in the GOP primary this August.

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