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Minnesota primary: Ilhan Omar expected to become first Somali-American in Congress after win in Democrat race

Minnesota also involves a number of races for House seats that should be close in November's midterms

Kimberley Richards
New York
Wednesday 15 August 2018 04:40
US Primaries: What are the key races as four US sates vote in primary elections?

Minnesota state Representative Ilhan Omar, the nation's first Somali-American legislator, has won a crowded Democratic primary to replace Representative Keith Ellison in Congress.

Ms Omar's victory Tuesday all but ensures she'll set another historic mark as the first Somali-American in Congress. Minnesota's 5th Congressional District includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs that tilt heavily Democratic.

Meanwhile, Senator Tina Smith will face off against Minnesota state Senator Karin Housely after both won their primaries in the race to fill Al Franken's seat in the Senate.

Mr Franken resigned earlier in the year amid allegations stemming from the #MeToo movement, leading to the all-women face-off in November.

On Monday, Mr Trump endorsed the Republican frontrunner for the House seat in the 8th district, Pete Stauber. Democrat Rick Nolan retired from the position, leaving a tough five-way primary for the party. Mr Stauber has leaned heavily on a pro-Trump message and will hope it helps him breakthrough in November. Mr Stauber will face former state Representative Joe Radinovich

Elsewhere, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty's comeback bid fizzled in the Republican primary for his old job, as voters chose County Commissioner Jeff Johnson to face Democratic Representative Tim Walz in the governor's race.

Mr Walz had been considered a top contender in the three-way primary to replace outgoing Democratic Governor Mark Dayton, despite losing his party's nod in early June. And Mr Johnson was a longshot, given Mr Pawlenty's unparalleled name recognition and fundraising from two terms as governor and a brief presidential campaign in 2012.

The stakes are high for both parties. For Democrats, the governor's office could be their only lever of power if they don't take the state House later this year. Republicans see a chance at seizing complete control of state government in the traditionally blue state.

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Hello and welcome to our coverage of the primary elections across the four states of Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin on Tuesday.

Steve Anderson13 August 2018 20:30

Ilhan Omar is a candidate to watch in Minnesota. She is running on the Democratic Socialists platform, the same as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York and Rashida Tlaib, who is set to be the first Muslim woman in US Congress. Ms Omar is a Somali-American and became Minnesota's first female Muslim State Representative last year.

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 21:08

Ethan Sonneborn is one of four Democratic candidates for governor in Vermont. He’s a 14-year-old progressive who decided to launch his campaign after violence erupted last year during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, North Carolina. State law allows anyone who has lived in Vermont for four years to run for governor after securing enough signatures to get on the ballot, making Mr Sonneborn legally qualified despite his age.

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 21:14

Connecticut will host both governor and congressional races in this week's primary. Let's start with the governor race. Current Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy is standing down, leaving poor approval ratings behind him. His decision not to run again has caused a lot of both Republicans and Democrats to join the race. This is a state that has a tendency change parties in its governorship, suggesting this will be a tight race.

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 21:36

With what is expected to be a close race, who are the Republicans running for Connecticut governor? The main contenders are Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and two businessmen, Bob Stefanowski and David Stemerman.

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 21:47

Donald Trump has just posted his endorsement for Peter Stauber who is running for Congress in Minnesota. 

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 21:49

An who, in turn, are the Democrat candidates for Connecticut governor? Mirroring the Republican candidates, we have a mayor and someone from the world of business. Former journalist and business Ned Lamont, and Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim are running for the Democrats.

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 22:04

Phil Scott, Vermont's Republican governor, is running for re-election despite growing concerns from the right surrounding his stance on gun control. After passing a series of measures tightening gun restrictions in the state, guns rights groups like the Gun Owners of Vermont launched a campaign calling on voters to write-in other conservative candidates, including Keith Stern and John Rodgers.

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 22:28

A little reminder for voters in Minnesota...

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 22:50

More than eight Democrats have filed to run in Wisconsin’s gubernatorial primary to oust GOP Gov. Scott Walker. Democrat Tony Evers, the state’s public education chief, is in the lead, but polling has been scarce, and several other candidates have pulled in notable endorsements and fundraising.

Mahlon Mitchell, the president of the Professional Fire Fighters Association, has the support of California Sen. Kamala Harris, and Kelda Helen Roys, a former state Assembly member, has the backing of New York’s Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (and Wisconsin’s most famed indie band, Bon Iver). State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (who has run in a Democratic gubernatorial primary before) and political activist Mike McCabe have also gotten progressive support.

Lucy Anna Gray13 August 2018 23:10

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