Democrat Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar has proven to be nothing but trouble for her own party and the country since winning her congressional seat in 2018, a brief tenure that has been characterized by a series of remarks viewed by many as anti-American and anti-Semitic.
A 2020 challenger to Omar has already emerged in the form of a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army who has also served as an officer in the Minneapolis Police Department for over two decades.
The challenger for the Fifth Congressional District seat is Chris Kelly, who on Monday officially launched his campaign to secure the Independence Party’s nomination to run against Omar.
Kelly previously attempted to secure the Republican endorsement for a state Senate seat in 2016, but ultimately failed in that endeavor.
According to Kelly, the primary motivation behind his decision to run against Omar was her dismissive remarks earlier in the year about the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, which Omar had described merely as “some people did something” and which she framed as hurting Muslims in America more than the actual victims who died in the attacks.
A positive voice
Speaking with Fox News about his decision to run, Kelly said: “Sept. 11 was a terrible loss of life, not just for police officers and firefighters and other first responders, but 3,000 people and non-combatants died, and to be dismissive of that was an outrage.
“I could sit and complain or I could do something about it,” he added. “And I believe I can be a positive voice in standing up for people in our country, and for our first responders and the people every day on the frontlines.”
Aside from underscoring Omar’s scandalous commentary on 9/11, Kelly also asserted that the freshman congresswoman seemed more focused on raising her “celebrity” status than actually serving as a lawmaker.
He further revealed how very far apart he and Omar are on certain hot-button issues, such as securing the border and stemming the flood of illegal immigration, as well as reining in federal spending and addressing the national debt.
As for his planned run against Omar, Kelly vowed to have a “positive, fact-based campaign” that would refrain from personal attacks against his opponent.
“I won’t be bringing in controversy and scandal. I will be bringing firsthand knowledge of the things that I know are going on in the community as an officer. I see a lot every day — the homelessness, the opioid crisis — I want to bring these things to the forefront and put some ideas on the table on how to deal with them,” Kelley said.
He went on: “I want to do anything I can to make people’s lives better; I just want to sit and listen to people and make some positive change.”