The Star Tribune Editorial Board has endorsed Antone Melton-Meaux over incumbent Rep. Ilhan Omar in the DFL primary for Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District.
In its endorsement, the Editorial Board said the Fifth District could “do without” Omar’s “ethical distractions.”
“Omar’s 2018 victory launched her into the national spotlight as the first Muslim woman and first refugee elected to Congress. But her time has been marred by missteps, including remarks on Israel widely regarded as anti-Semitic, an outsized number of missed votes, and campaign-finance issues,” said the endorsement.
The Editorial Board notes the hypocrisy of the Minnesota DFL Party’s recent attack on Melton-Meaux over alleged campaign-finance issues.
“That gave Lee Hayes, a spokesman for Melton-Meaux’s campaign, a chance to note that Omar has sent more than $1.6 million to her husband’s D.C. political consulting firm, E Street Group, and is herself the target of a Federal Election Commission complaint regarding travel expenses,” the endorsement continues.
Melton-Meaux has managed to run an unexpectedly competitive campaign. He raked in more than $3.2 million in campaign contributions between March and April, compared to about $471,624 in donations for Omar.
In an interview with the Editorial Board, Omar “took little responsibility for her rocky start, instead largely blaming her critics and saying her failing was perhaps in not realizing what a ‘special unicorn’ she would be in Congress.”
“While Omar wants to lead a movement, Melton-Meaux seeks to serve the Fifth District,” the endorsement states. “Melton-Meaux fully grasps the needs of the diverse constituency he hopes to represent, and, if given a chance, is the kind of leader who could unite a fractured district.”