WASHINGTON - Five U.S. states are holding an array of elections on Tuesday, with Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar, a staunch critic of President Donald Trump, facing a stiff challenge in a Democratic primary in her Minneapolis district.
Omar, a Somali American, is one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress. She is seeking nomination for a second two-year term against Antone Melton-Meaux, a Black lawyer who, like Omar, has raised more than $4 million in campaign funds but has outdistanced her in recent weeks.
Omar is one of four Democratic congresswomen of color who call themselves The Squad. They have often derided Trump during his three-and-a-half years in the White House, while also at times clashing with Democratic leaders over policies they do not consider progressive enough.
Melton-Meaux has cast Omar as too controversial for her congressional district, but Omar has won the support of other House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Both Omar and Melton-Meaux describe themselves as progressives but differ in their stance on Israel. Omar supports the effort to divest from the Jewish state over its treatment of the Palestinians, while Melton-Meaux has won the support of several pro-Israel groups.
Voters are also casting ballots in local, state and congressional races in Connecticut, Wisconsin, Vermont and Georgia.
In the southern state of Georgia, Republicans are awaiting the outcome of a congressional primary contest that includes Marjorie Taylor Greene, a gun rights activist and staunch supporter of QAnon, a far-right group that believes a "deep state" of people are working to undermine Trump's presidency. She is opposed by John Cowan, a conservative physician who does not believe the QAnon conspiracy theories.
The winner of the Greene-Cowan contest is almost assured of winning election to Congress from the heavily Republican district.