Conservatives Lining Up to Challenge Omar


At least two conservatives announced their candidacy this month to take on Rep. Ilhan Omar in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District.

Both Chris Kelley, a conservative Independent, and Lacy Johnson, an African-American Republican, have declared candidacy.

Kelley is a U.S. Army veteran and retired Minneapolis Police Officer, a role he served in for more than 20 years. He announced his candidacy in early August during an interview on “Fox & Friends.”

“It is a heavily Democratic area, however, that being said, I think the lack of action by Congressperson Omar—there will be a lot of disaffected Democrats and there will also be Republicans who aren’t satisfied with Congress not doing anything,” he said. “I’m on the ground here every day, I see the problems, I talk to the people and this gives me an opportunity to make a difference and continue to serve.”

Kelley recently criticized Omar for using her office for “subversive activities against Immigration and Customs Enforcement.”

“I know many, many refugees and legal immigrants in this district—I encounter and work with them every day in the line of duty. We welcome them, and we celebrate legal immigration as part of what sets America apart as a beacon of freedom and hope around the world,” he said in a statement. “Ilhan Omar dishonors and discredits them by cynically working to promote illegal immigration, and by associating entire communities of legal refugees and immigrants with lawlessness.”

Kelley said Omar’s controversial comments about 9/11 made his “decision to run final.”

“To see the victims, the first responders, and our country as a whole disrespected, disregarded, and trivialized by someone who is now benefiting from being an American is morally reprehensible,” he said in a recent press release. “If Omar wants to spout anti-American propaganda as a private citizen that’s her business. But I refuse to allow her to do it with Minnesota next to her name.”

Johnson announced his candidacy on August 14 and similarly criticized Omar for her negative comments about the country.

“I’m impatient with Ms. Omar, who focuses on the past of America in a negative way, who shows and speaks with such disrespect for our country—refusing to acknowledge the tremendous progress we’ve made since our founding,” he said in his announcement video. “We need someone in Congress who looks after the interests of our own district, not Ms. Omar, who’s more concerned with being a self-promoting, anti-President Trump national celebrity.”

Johnson joined Stuart Varney on Fox Business last week to discuss his campaign, and was asked how he plans to win in a district with a large Somali population.

“Well, a couple things. I don’t concede them to Ilhan Omar. I ran for state office last year and I had quite a few Somalians support. In fact, Somalians were some people who took my voters to the polls on election day. The second thing is they aren’t a big percentage of the voters. I’ve got the African American voters, the Jewish voters, the conservative voters,” he said. “So when you start doing the math, and even though I have not done all the data analysis yet, I think we have a pretty good chance.”

“Ms. Omar has a record,” he continued. “She has a record of being anti-Israel. She has a record of being anti-Jewish. She has a record of being a socialist. And she has a record of supporting non-profit government solutions in our district that haven’t worked for decades.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News, The Ohio Star, and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].






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