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Ilan Omar faces centrist rival in today’s primary

Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks to reporters in the wake of anti-Islamic comments made last week by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who likened Omar to a bomb-carrying terrorist, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, November 30, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., speaks to reporters in the wake of anti-Islamic comments made last week by Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., who likened Omar to a bomb-carrying terrorist, during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, November 30, 2021. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the biggest stars of the left and a fierce critic of Israel, is facing a challenge from the center in her congressional primary in Minnesota today.

Former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels’ north Minneapolis base suffers from more violent crime than other parts of the city, and the moderate Democrat helped defeat a ballot question that sought to replace the city police department with a new public safety unit.

Omar has defended calls to redirect public safety funding more into community-based programs. The congresswoman, who crushed a similar primary challenge two years ago from a well-funded but lesser-known opponent than Samuels, has said she expects to win easily.

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