A candidate for the GOP congressional ticket in Georgia could be the first open QAnon supporter in Congress.
Connecticut voters will cast the last of the 2020 presidential primary votes Tuesday after a Democratic race that narrowed from more than 20 candidates to the now-presumptive nominee Joe Biden. While President Donald Trump and Biden’s nominations are already secure, there is still some primary drama in store in other races.
The two biggest races to watch Tuesday night? Rep. Ilhan Omar’s battle for reelection in Minnesota and QAnon conspiracy believer Marjorie Taylor Greene’s quest to join Congress despite a slew of controversial comments she made on social media.
Here’s what to watch for tonight.
Self sufficiency Will Ilhan Omar be a one-term congresswoman?
The most high-profile election on Tuesday is Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s fight for a second term out of Minnesota. Omar became a controversial figure after her election in 2018 and she drew national attention when some of her comments criticizing Israel were denounced as anti-Semitic.
Omar was born in Somali and came with her family to America as a refugee. She and Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., were the first Muslim women ever elected to Congress. Omar and Tlaib, along with Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., came to be known collectively as “the Squad” – first-term congresswomen, all women of color, who established themselves as perhaps the four most progressive members in the House.
Antone Melton-Meaux, a Black lawyer and mediator, has raised millions of dollars in his campaign to unseat Omar. That has included donations from Democrats who prefer a more mainstream candidate and from pro-Israel groups such as NORPAC, Pro-Israel America and Americans for Tomorrow’s Future.
Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District is strongly Democratic, and the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary will likely go on to victory in November.
Like Omar, Melton-Meaux identifies himself as a progressive, but he argues that Omar’s national profile has distracted her from delivering for the Minneapolis-area voters she represents.
“She has been ineffective in Washington because she is divisive, and she’s focused on her celebrity,” Melton-Meaux said.
Omar argues it is because she has been an effective advocate for her positions that large donors want to see her out.
“It’s about how effective we’ve actually been and how people don’t want that effectiveness to continue,” she said. “Organized people will always beat organized money.”
After their elections in 2018, Omar, Tlaib, Ocasio-Cortez and Pressley quickly became targets for conservatives, including Trump who drew bipartisan rebukes after he suggested the women “go back” to where they came from, though only Omar was not born in the U.S.
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Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez have already survived primary challenges this year.
On top of her controversial comments, Omar’s personal life has come under scrutiny.
She recently married her Washington political consultant, Tim Mynett, months after denying that they were having an affair and divorcing her first husband. Conservatives raised ethical questions and filed a federal complaint over Omar’s campaign paying Mynett’s firm more than $1 million for advertising, fundraising and other services. The law doesn’t prohibit such an arrangement.
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Self sufficiency Will another QAnon candidate win?
A Republican primary runoff election for the open seat to represent Georgia’s 14th Congressional District has drawn national attention because one of the candidates, businesswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, has expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy theory in online videos.
She has also made Islamophobic comments and claimed that Black people aren’t discriminated against.
Greene’s opponent is neurosurgeon John Cowan, who got 21% of the vote in the first round of the primary to Greene’s 40%. In Georgia, if no candidate gets a majority, the top-two finishers head to a runoff. Like Greene, Cowan is a strong supporter of Trump, but Cowan warns Greene’s views could make her an “embarrassment.”
After that June 9 vote, Politico uncovered controversial remarks Greene made in videos posted to her Facebook page from 2017 to 2019. In one, she suggested the 2018 midterms, in which Omar and Tlaib were elected, was part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.”
Greene also dismissed the idea that Black Americans face discrimination. “Guess what? Slavery is over,” she said. “Black people have equal rights.”
“I know a ton of white people that are as lazy and sorry and probably worse than black people,” she said in a video. “And that has everything to do with their bad choices and their personal responsibility. That is not a skin-color issue.”
“The most mistreated group of people in the United States today are white males,” she said in another video, according to Politico.
Greene is one of several 2020 Republican candidates who embrace the conspiracy theory that an anonymous figure or group in the federal government is engaged in a war to defend Trump from the “deep state” and an international network of elites engaged in child trafficking.
She called QAnon – a movement which the FBI has warned could incite domestic terrorism – “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take this global cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles out,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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House Republican leaders have denounced Greene for her remarks. A spokesman for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., called Greene’s comments “appalling.” Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., said they were “disgusting and don’t reflect the values of equality and decency that make our country great.”
“I will be supporting Dr. Cowan,” Scalise said in a statement.
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Despite those denunciations, Politico reported that few Republicans have actively campaigned on Cowan’s behalf.
Cowan has said Greene “would embarrass our state.” In a recent interview he said she “deserves her own Youtube channel, and not a seat in Congress.”
The winner of Tuesday’s runoff will face Democrat Kevin Van Ausdal in November. Republican Rep. Tom Graves, who did not seek reelection, last won the seat with over 76% of the vote in 2018.
Contributing: The Associated Press
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