Liberal Democrat Rep. Ilhan Omar is facing heavy criticism for being divisive from critics in her home district in Minnesota, as she pushes to win a second term, according to the Politico.
“We don't need someone distracted with Twitter fights,” said primary challenger Antone Melton-Meaux, who pledges to focus on local issues and avoid the spotlight. “I don't want to be a celebrity. I want to serve the people, and people are tired of the politics of division and distraction.”
Last quarter, Melton-Meaux raised $3.2 million, much of which came from pro-Israel donors who reject Omar's foreign policy platform.
“Rep. Omar's past comments invoked age-old anti-Semitic tropes and rhetoric that echoed and brought about the nightmares of persecution,” said Rabbi Avi Olitzky, who heads a congregation in Omar's district.
A large portion of the Jewish community in Omar's Fifth District feels uncomfortable with the first-term lawmaker, according to Steve Hunegs, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council for Minnesota and the Dakotas.
He added that some progressive Jewish voters still back Omar.
Liz Loeb said as a Jewish supporter of Omar, the lawmaker's rhetoric did hurt, but doesn't consider her anti-Semitic.
“I need a representative that advocates for, and cares about and understands the experiences of people who are marginalized within communities,” Loeb said.
Omar's allies said she has talked to members of the Jewish community and pointed to her apology from 2019 as proof of her contrition.
Omar's campaign doesn't think the congresswoman is losing support, at least according to their internal polling, which shows her leading Melton-Meaux 66% to 29%. It also gives Omar a 74% approval rating.
The Melton-Meaux campaign ripped Omar's internal polling as "inherently flawed" but wouldn't give any detail of its polling.
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