Nation’s 1st Somali-American lawmaker eyes seat in Congress 07 Jun 18

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The nation’s first Somali-American lawmaker has launched a bid for Congress.

Ilhan Omar is a 35-year-old state representative in Minnesota. She filed paperwork to run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Keith Ellison. He plans to run for state attorney general.

A victory by Oman would further elevate a rising star in Democratic politics. She has portrayed herself as a counterpoint to President Donald Trump, and she would be the first Somali-American in Congress.

Omar escaped her war-torn homeland as a child and grew up in a Kenyan refugee camp before immigrating to the United States as a preteen. She learned English by watching American television.

Minnesota is home to the largest population of Somalis outside Somalia.