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Saturday, September 19, 2020

‘Squad’ members Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar facing tough primary challenges

Could this be the end of the “Squad”?

Congresswomen Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, two members of the House of Representatives’ far-left band of lawmakers, are staring down serious Democratic primary challenges in the coming weeks from rivals who accuse them of being more focused on stardom than legislating.

Scandal-scarred Omar, 37, is seeking re-election in her downtown Minneapolis district at the Aug. 11 primary but is being pummeled in the fundraising stakes by a newcomer opponent, mediation lawyer Antone Melton-Meaux.

Melton-Meaux, a black man who is also running on a progressive platform, raked in a massive $3.2 million in the most recent fundraising quarter, according to Federal Election Commission filings first reported by Fox News.

Omar raised approximately half-a-million dollars in that period. In a recent CBS Minnesota interview, she claimed the “status quo” was funding her opponent and said internal polling showed she was 37 percentage points ahead.

Melton-Meaux, 47, has criticized the Muslim congresswoman for her “harmful tropes” about the Jewish community and accused her of ignoring the plight of her constituents, many of whom are Somali immigrants like herself.

Omar’s two-year stint in Washington has been dominated by her soap opera personal life, with the mom of three earlier this year marrying the political consultant whom she was accused of having an affair with in 2019 divorce papers.

Last month, The Post revealed that Omar’s campaign had poured nearly $1 million into new husband Tim Mynett’s political consulting firm. She is also dogged by unfounded claims she married her brother so he could obtain a green card.

Omar’s spokesman Jeremy Slevin defended the firebrand lawmaker in a Star Tribune report published Saturday, calling Omar “a whip of the progressive caucus” who he said enjoys close ties with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Fellow “Squad” member Rashida Tlaib is also is danger in her Michigan district, where Brenda Jones, the black president of the Detroit City Council, is threatening to end her run.

Jones, 60, has criticized Tlaib as being preoccupied with national issues and says she has fielded calls from constituents angry with the Muslim congresswoman’s booing of Hillary Clinton at a Bernie Sanders event last year and her infamous vow, in reference to President Trump, to “impeach the motherf–ker.”

“I’m not interested in being a rock star. I’m just interested in bringing home the money, working for the people of the 13th District and uniting the community,” Jones told the New York Times on Saturday.

Jones briefly held the downtown Detroit district after incumbent John Conyers Jr. was accused of sexual harassment and she eked out a 2-point victory over Tlaib in a special primary election.

However, Tlaib won the subsequent election in the 2018 midterms, propelling her to a two-year term in Congress.

The two women face off in the Aug. 4 primary.

Meanwhile, in New York, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thumped her opponent in the June 23 Democratic primary after winning 73 percent of the ballots cast and is set to waltz to re-election.

The final Squad member, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, faces no Democratic challenger in the Sept. 1 primary.

Read More at NYPost

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