MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota’s 5th congressional district — which includes Minneapolis and most of Hennepin County — helped the state make history with the historic election for Ilhan Omar.
She won 78 percent of the vote over Republican Jennifer Zielinski.
Omar is the first refugee ever elected to Congress and one of the first two Muslim women. WCCO’s Esme Murphy sat down with the new Congresswoman-elect.
After her big win she was mobbed by supporters. The 36-year-old state representative stood with her three children and husband thanking supporters.
“What an amazing journey this has been,” she said.
WEB EXTRA: 2018 Election Results
Her journey has taken her from a Kenyan refugee camp to the Minnesota House of Representatives to national celebrity, from the cover of Time Magazine to a cameo in a Maroon 5 video, to the U.S. Congress. Now countless national interviews including with CBS This Morning and The View.
Now Congresswoman-elect Omar is talking about taking on President Trump, including at a University of Minnesota Humphrey School forum.
“The kind of opportunity that came from the resistance to this awful person in the White House and Republicans kind of adopting that message, that being a strong man kind of sustained them, allowed for us to say there is a kind of politics that’s about hope, about joy, about optimism, about inclusion,” she said.
She is offering up her agenda: healthcare is a priority.
“I want to go to Washington to make sure we really have an opportunity to expand health care for folks so that is accessible to them,” Omar said.
Asked what she would say if she has a chance to come face-to-face with Trump soon, she said “I would say that he is faced with an opportunity to lead. ‘You are faced with an opportunity to lead our nation.’ It is not worth much if we are continuing to fight, and I would expect that a leader moves us into a direction where we take our country to be more prosperous to make it one that works for working families. … I would talk to him to understand the opportunity he is wasting because we have too much to do for the American people.”
Omar credits her husband and her children — who are ages 15, 12 and 6 — with allowing her to do the work she loves.
“I have been very fortunate to have a partner who really stepped up, and have wonderful children who do a lot of things that make it easy for Mommy to do this work.”