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Tipsheet

Meet the Muslim-American Immigrant Veteran Running to Defeat Ilhan Omar

Twitter / @ShuForCongress

"I am a survivor. A refugee. A mother. A black Muslim. But above all, I am a Minnesotan and an American — just like you." This is the message from Republican Shukri "Shu" Abdirahman as she launches her campaign to unseat U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District.

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The video, tweeted Monday morning by Abdirahman, shares the moving story of a life that began under the terror of civil war in Somalia, brought her to the United States as a legal immigrant, saw her go on to join the U.S. military after being inspired by the events depicted in the movie Black Hawk Down, then beat the odds as a single mother to overcome homelessness, and now run for U.S. Congress.

Here's Shu's story in her own words:

My father was taken in the middle of the night by Mohamed Siad Barre's regime. Eventually he was returned to us but Barre's men had poisoned him for refusing to join his regime. The scars — of living through civil war, surviving abuse at a young age, losing my father — all remain with me. In fear of our lives, my family fled war-torn Somalia to the slums of Kenya where we spent nearly four years in refugee camp waiting — with hopes to come to America. 

From Somalia to Minnesota, my family and I were welcomed as legal American citizens. America had saved my life, the land of opportunity. Inspired by the events of Black Hawk Down, I joined the military to give back to the men and women who gave their lives so that I could have a second chance.

I served over 10 years as a United States soldier. I was deployed to Iraq where I fell in love with a fellow soldier, and gave birth to three beautiful children. But they lost their father to PTSD and the pains of war. My husband was a different person that we no longer recognized. It wasn't easy surviving domestic abuse and taking on my new-found role as a single mother struggling to care for them — at one point homeless living in our car — poor and tired. 

But my hand is not out. I still believe in the American dream, resistant to become helplessly dependent on a system I have seen vulnerable communities and so many of my brothers and sisters become enslaved to rather than empowered to truly prosper in the Land of the Free. 

Our lives, our pride, and dignity can no longer be bought in exchange for votes that only keep the elite in power who disappear and abandon us after election season is over, the self-aggrandized political class who do not represent the people.

My name is Shukri Abdirahman and I'm running for Congress in Minnesota.

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Abdirahman will face off against former health care administrator Cicely Davis and Former NBA player Royce White in the August 9th Republican primary — the winner of that contest will be on the ballot opposite Ilhan Omar this fall to represent Minnesota's deep-blue 5th Congressional District. 

Cook rates the 5th as D+30 for the midterms, but as President Biden's approval continues to fall — even among Democrats but especially among independents — and voters signal they're growing weary with the antics of The Squad, there's a lot that can change before November.

Watch Shu's video below:

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