Undoubtedly, the 5th Congressional District has the more far-reaching impact statewide. The turnout figures outpace every other district and the hard leftist bent of Minneapolis is something every other district competes against in statewide races. Since we know this seat will be in the hands of a woman for the first time in its existence the August 14th Primary is a memorable event.
Currently, the perceived momentum is with first-term Rep Ilhan Omar (DFL-60B, Minneapolis) because she has the DFL Endorsement, Outfront Minnesota’s endorsement and is a poster child for the opposition to Donald J Trump (R) especially now with the Travel Ban, which would have kept her from coming to America. She is able to garner attention both here in Minnesota and nationally because she is an embodiment of this issue, but her lack of experience doesn’t ensure her effectiveness on this or any issue.
When people hear her say the words community, they hear Somali Community, which is a small constituency in the 5th Congressional District, many of the community members cannot vote because they are not citizens of our nation. Their distinctiveness, in dress and religion and lack of assimilation, put them at odds with the rest of the electorate.
As a Freshman legislature in the Minority, Omar had little or no impact during her single term in office. She sought more attention outside of the chamber than she did inside of it. Which is in evidence from her national exposure. One looming factor in this race is whether Rep Keith Ellison (D-MN05) endorses in this contest we believe he would only do so if he saw it as benefiting his Attorney General bid.
The question is can former Speaker of the House and Gubernatorial Candidate Margaret Anderson Kelliher (D-MN05) staunch Omar’s ascension. In 2010, in the 5th Congressional District Anderson Kelliher received 55,725 votes in Hennepin County, which is a large portion of the 5th Congressional District. The question is will these voters remember her or be influenced by the hype associated with Omar.
The departure of Sen Bobby Joe Champion (DFL-58, Minneapolis) and Minneapolis School Board member Kim Ellison (DFL) from the field left the Northside of Minneapolis without a natural candidate. This means the opportunity for leaders from the Northside to weigh in on this Congressional District race is prime because there are a block of voters who have experience higher incidence of gun violence and crime at greater levels than other parts of the city. During his time in office, as a resident of the area, crime did not decline, but it shows how Congress has a disconnect and little effect on local community issues.
We feel like US Senator Tina Smith (D-MN), Anderson Kelliher needs to mount an aggressive campaign railing against Trump and proving through her experience she can be effective against this type of bad actor. Unlike Omar Anderson Kelliher served as a legislator for ten years and as Speaker for four for them.
She had a list of accomplishments to run on as Governor but fell short to Mark Dayton’s personal fortune by only 1.58%.
Afterward, Anderson Kelliher became the Executive Director of the MN High Technology Association working with entrepreneurs and high-level executives in some of Minnesota’s most dynamic and profitable companies.
If Anderson Kelliher can shift the narrative in the 5th Congressional District she will prove once again she is an effective legislator.
Just as the Richard Painter Dumpster Fire Ad drew attention Anderson Kelliher needs to do something to make her campaign stand out.