ST. PAUL, Minn. – State Rep. Ilhan Omar has filed to run for U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison’s seat in Congress.
Democrats in Minnesota have been in a state of chaos since this past weekend’s endorsing convention. The shake-up started when Attorney General Lori Swanson announced she would no longer be running for re-election, instead joining the already-crowded governor’s race. Swanson’s abrupt exit from the race created a last-minute opening for Ellison, who reportedly considered the position back in January prior to Swanson announcing her re-election. Ellison officially announced his candidacy for attorney general Tuesday afternoon.
Ellison’s sudden change of plans leaves the race for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District open, and Omar joins a list of Minnesota politicians hoping to seize the opportunity.
“I look forward to carrying on Congressman Keith Ellison’s legacy,” Omar wrote on Twitter. “We have hard fights ahead and I look forward to fighting alongside the residents of District 5.”
Omar has gained national attention for being the first Somali female legislator in the nation. Last year Omar was a recipient of TIME Magazine’s “Women Leader Firsts” award, and more recently Omar appeared in a Maroon 5 music video alongside celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Ellen DeGeneres.
Despite her growing popularity, Omar’s personal history could be hiding legal issues.
In 2016, Alpha News investigated Omar’s immigration history after Powerline Blog writer Scott Johnson indicated Omar may have engaged in marriage fraud.
Omar has publicly identified Ahmed Hirsi as her cultural husband and father of her children. However, Omar is currently married to Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. Elmi’s name follows the Somali custom of being named after his father, which is the same name as her father. Extensive investigation from Alpha News unveils the potential that Elmi is actually Omar’s brother and the marriage was a sham in order to aid Elmi in obtaining citizenship.
Omar dismissed the claims that she married her brother, claiming the marriages were simply a difficult time in her private life. In August 2016 Omar released a statement saying, “I have yet to legally divorce Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, but am in the process of doing so.” Omar filed for divorce from Elmi in May of 2017, and research indicates he now resides in London.
While the issues surrounding Omar’s personal history date back two years, the issue is likely to reappear this election cycle, with some people already raising questions on social media.
Omar will face off against the several other Democrats hoping to taking Ellison’s seat in the August 14 primary.