Former Somali Refugee Runs for US Congressional Seat

Ilhan Omar files to run for US Congress on June 6, 2018. (Image from Twitter

Two years ago, Ilhan Omar made headlines when she became the first Somali-American elected to a U.S. state legislature. She was chosen to represent Minneapolis, a city in the upper Midwestern state of Minnesota. Now, she is running for a seat in the U.S. Congress.

The opening for Omar — a Muslim, mother of three and former refugee — emerged Tuesday after U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison withdrew from his re-election campaign to enter the race for Minnesota attorney general. He filed the official paperwork just hours before the deadline.

Ellison, a liberal Democrat and the first Muslim elected to Congress, has represented the Minneapolis-based 5th Congressional District since early 2007. He said he was seeking the attorney general's post to counter the Trump administration's restrictive policies on Muslims and immigrants.

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