MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In a seat that has historically been held by Democrats, Ilhan Omar (D) won the bid for the state’s 5th Congressional District, defeating Jennifer Zielinski (R) for an open spot left by U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison. This was projected by the Associated Press.
Ilhan Omar is the first Somali-American elected to Congress.
WEB EXTRA: Full 2018 Midterm Election Results
Omar has been an advocate for a single-payer health care system, reforming immigration policies to create wider opportunities for migrants and refugees, and stricter gun laws.
She spent four years in a refugee camp before coming to the United States at age 12. Omar says one of her priorities is to continue to stand against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
Jennifer Zielinski, a clinical specialist for Allina Health and a Republican activist, has run on a platform that includes wanting to continue Trump’s tax cuts, repealing the Affordable Care Act only if there is another plan in place, and enforcing existing immigration laws.
Zielinski has not held elected office before, but she has been a Republican activist for more than 10 years, working on various campaigns.
Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs that usually tilt Democratic.