MPR is reporting this afternoon that Abdimalik Askar, the Republican-endorsed candidate in HD 60B has suspended his race for the Minnesota State House.
Askar, a two-time candidate was running against DFL-endorsed candidate Ilhan Omar, who defeated 22 term incumbent Rep. Phyllis Khan.
Askar tells MPR that the recent death of his father, finishing his PhD, working two jobs, and being there was for his pregnant wife has led to a tough year.
Askar’s campaign chair David Pascoe said in a statement to Alpha News, “Abdimalik Askar spent most of his summer caring for his ailing father who passed away a few weeks ago. During prime fundraising and campaigning months, his attention was rightfully taken by family matters. As he and his wife are expecting another child soon, family was going to continue to come first. Abdimalik and I started the year with goals of building a better campaign than 2014 and with the DFL chaos it seemed like the perfect year to gain ground. He was never really able to mount the campaign we wanted. Out of respect for the Republican party that endorsed him and the constituents in 60B that he hoped to represent, he decided to suspend his campaign publically instead of pretending that he was giving the campaign his full attention.”
When asked about the sudden decision to leave the campaign trail, Pascoe tells Alpha News, “I was personally surprised at his decision but I respect it. It was a bit sudden considering we were operating in a very low-energy mode for months anyway, but I think after a lot of reflection Abdimalik finally came to the conclusion that it wasn’t the right time.”
Though HD60B has been held by democrats for almost 50 years, the suspension of Askar’s candidacy is a huge blow for Republicans in the district who sought another alternative to the embattled Ilhan Omar.
Omar has found herself in controversy these past few weeks. As Alpha News has reported, evidence found suggests that Omar married her brother in order to bring him to the United States. It seems that Omar will have no problems snagging the seat come November, with Askar all but out of the race.
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