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

The state lawmaker was only elected in 2016.
Publish date:

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.

Today's Top Stories

– Keith Ellison confirms he'll run for AG, leaving Congress.

– Fleeing motorcyclist fights for life after 100mph crash in Fridley.

– NEW: Follow Bring Me The News on Flipboard.

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.

Next Up

Antoine Winfield Jr.

Watch: Gopher alums Antoine Winfield Jr., Tyler Johnson make key plays in Bucs' playoff win

The Minnesota greats had a pair of highlights as Tampa Bay advanced to the NFC Championship.


Crews respond to fire at Gertens in Inver Grove Heights

It's reported that a greenhouse on the grounds was on fire.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.


Keith Ellison requests House probe into abuse allegation

The Attorney General candidate has been dogged by the allegation during his campaign.

Key points from the release of the Keith Ellison divorce file

The Ellisons tried to block its release, citing privacy concerns.

Keillor: Liberals voted for Ilhan Omar 'to feel better about themselves'

Ilhan Omar made history when she won election to Congress on Tuesday.

Judge orders Keith Ellison divorce file be unsealed

Two media outlets applied for the motion.

Rep. Ilhan Omar pressured over tweet about Sen. Lindsey Graham

The newly-elected congresswoman is under fire for her Tuesday tweet.

In the wake of his AG primary win, Keith Ellison is facing questions

He strongly denies an allegation of domestic abuse, but it's not going away.