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Opinion editor's note: Editorials represent the opinions of the Star Tribune Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom.


U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar has survived a primary challenge and will advance to the general election as she seeks a third term — but just barely.

Omar faced her most formidable opponent yet in Don Samuels, a former Minneapolis City Council member and a longtime leader in his north Minneapolis community and through much of the Fifth District.

Samuels, who received the Star Tribune Editorial Board's endorsement in Tuesday's primary, also proved an adept fundraiser and managed to whittle Omar's lead to a razor-thin margin. In a district of more than 700,000 residents, Omar won by 2.1 percentage points — fewer than 2,500 votes.

Omar called her victory "a testament to how much our district believes in the collective values we are fighting for," and said that "Republicans and conservative Democrats have worked in lockstep to vote us out." She noted that her victory was for "everyone who still believes that hate, division and regression will not be the legacy of the Fifth."

That's quite a statement given that Omar was running not against some far-right Republican but against a fellow Democrat who not only shares many of the values and goals common to the party, but who has a decadeslong track record of service to his community.

We continue to be dismayed at Omar's tendency to play the victim — even as a well-funded, two-term incumbent — as well as her seeming refusal to acknowledge that Democrats voting in a primary might actually prefer a candidate who builds bridges to those who may be in disagreement and who understands their concerns about public safety.

Should Omar succeed in winning a third term against Republican Cicely Davis, which is almost inevitable given the makeup of her district, we hope she will take better lessons from her narrow win and begin the hard work of building a broader coalition that takes in the nearly 50% of voters who cast ballots for her opponent.

A politician as adept as Omar should be able to do so without sacrificing her progressive brand. But that will take reaching out to those of differing opinions and genuinely listening to the many voices and views that make up Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District.

We also would encourage Omar to rebuild her relations with Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. He leads the largest city in her district and one with serious needs. The city is not well served by having these two at odds.

Omar not only endorsed Frey's opponents in the last ranked-choice election, but urged Minneapolis residents to not rank Frey at all and fought hard for the amendment to abolish the Minneapolis Police Department, which Frey opposed. Frey in turn endorsed Samuels. Both should sit down and discuss how they can find common ground and move the city forward.


The Hennepin County attorney's race attracted seven candidates, two of whom will move on to the November general election. Primary voters faced the daunting challenge of differentiating between seven varying approaches to the top prosecutor's role. General election voters will be able to focus on two.

The county's former chief public defender, Mary Moriarty, will face retired district judge Martha Holton Dimick, who edged Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler for the No. 2 spot.

The Star Tribune Editorial Board endorsed both Dimick and Winkler in the primary, partly because their campaigns emphasized the need to reduce violent crime along with criminal justice reform.

Moriarty worked in the public defender's office for more than 30 years, and she's made valuable contributions to public understanding of racial bias in policing and criminal prosecution. Dimick has been a prosecutor and judge, and she prioritized public safety in her primary campaign.

In its primary endorsements, the Editorial Board also expressed reservations about Moriarty's tenure leading the public defender's office. A state board declined to reappoint her after concerns surfaced about social media posts, her managerial style and tense relationships with other leaders in the criminal justice system.

The Hennepin County attorney leads an office with a $65 million budget and a staff of about 460 — including about 200 attorneys. It's responsible for prosecuting felonies committed by adults and all juvenile crimes while providing legal services for county government and victim advocacy.

In the three months before they go to the polls, Hennepin County voters should tune in to the Dimick vs. Moriarty matchup. Both candidates have a chance to refresh their messages as they try to appeal to voters who chose other candidates in the primary and those who sat out Tuesday's election.

The stakes are high. On Nov. 8, voters will face a choice that will go a long way toward determining the course of public safety and criminal justice reform in Minnesota's most populous county.