The campaign of Minnesota State Rep. Ilhan Omar, who filed her candidacy to run for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison‘s Congress seat Tuesday (June 5), has already sparked major excitement. Several people on Twitter are elated to see Omar, the first Somali-American elected to a state legislature, put her hat in the ring for Minnesota’s Congressional District 5, which covers Minneapolis and several neighboring suburbs.
Omar, 36—who just made a cameo in Maroon’s 5 “Girls Like You” music video released Thursday (May 30)—is also excited for the next chapter of her political journey.
“Officially filed to be on the ballot for US Congress to represent
#MN05,” Omar tweeted Tuesday, after filing just hours before the deadline, CBS Minnesota reported. “I look forward to carrying on Congressman Keith Ellison’s legacy. We have hard fights ahead and I look forward to fighting alongside the residents of District 5.”
Omar’s run to get a seat at the congressional table to replace Ellison, who withdrew from his re-election campaign to make a bid for Minnesota Attorney General, is significant for several reasons. First, the Somali-American state rep, who is a Democrat-Farmer-Labor-Party member, joins a number of other candidates who were born outside the U.S. or have family members who came to the country as immigrants. Fayrouz Saad, a 34-year-old Muslim American, is running as a Democrat to represent Michigan’s 11th Congressional District. Saad and other candidates have joined Ilhan in running for offices.
Ilhan’s run is also important for the Somalian community in Minneapolis — a city that has been grappling with the police-involved shooting of Justine Ruszczyk Damond. Mohamed Noor, the cop who fatally shot Damond last July, is Somali-American and was charged with murder and manslaughter in March.
In light of these events, it’s clear that several people have an interest in Omar’s campaign and will be paying attention to see if she wins this November.