- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 14, 2020

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Rep. Ilhan Omar’s top Democratic challenger is leading her in campaign money after a surge in donations.

Political newcomer Antone Melton-Meaux said he raised $3.2 million between April and the end of June, and has $2 million cash left in the bank ahead of the Aug. 11 primary.

Omar took in $471,624 during the same period, the Star Tribune reported. Omar’s campaign said she has more than $1.1 million left on hand ahead of the primary.

The surge in donations for Melton-Meaux came partly from conservative donors and pro-Israel groups. Omar, a freshman Minnesota Democrat, has apologized for tweets suggesting that members of Congress support Israel because they are being paid to do so.

But Melton-Meaux said he has received support from “across the economic spectrum,” as well as from nonpartisan groups that have contributed to both Democrats and Republicans.



“We started at a time when people really believed we had no shot at this,” said Melton-Meaux, a mediation lawyer.

In a statement, Omar’s campaign said her donations resulted from grassroots organizing, with her average contribution coming in at $18.

Melton-Meaux has emerged as the most prominent of four DFL primary challengers to Omar in the 5th District, considered a safe Democratic seat that includes Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs.

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