On Sunday, November 12, Don Samuels officially announced that he is running against incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in the 2024 Democratic primary. The two faced off in 2022, when Samuels came within two percentage points of defeating the incumbent. However, this time around the race will attract even more attention because it is a presidential election year.
“Our neighbors deserve a leader who will represent our values in Washington, D.C., working with the Biden administration and other democratic colleagues to strengthen democracy, promote peace around the globe, and create a future of opportunity in America,” said Samuels, who announced his intention to run on WCCO’s Sunday news-radio program.
“At a time where democratic institutions are under attack both at home and abroad, I believe there’s an exhausted majority of my neighbors looking for leaders who seek to strengthen our civic foundations using government to make a difference, not to just cynically make a point. That’s what I’ve done throughout my life, and that’s what I’ll do if I’m elected,” said in a press release.
“Locally, my opponent was a strident supporter of the defund the police movement, even rebuking President Barack Obama when he referred to it as a ‘snappy slogan’ that would make reform more difficult,” said Samuels. “Nationally, she also voted against President Biden’s signature infrastructure legislation,” he added.
In addition, Samuels points to Rep. Omar’s foreign policy record, citing her vote against aid to Ukraine, her opposition to sanctions against Russia and Turkey, and her statements regarding Israel since the war in Gaza.
Samuels was previously elected to the Minneapolis City Council and later to the school board, where he focused on public safety and addressing the underlying causes of crime, including inadequate education and job opportunities.