Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Appoints Lawyer Who Helped Democrats Control Senate as Campaign Manager

by Xara Aziz
Courtesy of Ilhan Omar Campaign

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has tapped a former key member of Jon Ossoff’s U.S. Senate 2021 runoff campaign – which gave Democrats control of the Senate – to be her campaign manager.

Kendra Lee, a lawyer by training with experience working for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, expressed her intention to transition to working for the Minneapolis Congresswoman because she dedicated her “professional career to ensuring that underrepresented and underserved communities have a seat at the table and Rep. Omar has fought for those communities since being elected to public office in 2016.”

Lee comes with a breadth of experience as she faces off former member of the Minneapolis City Council Don Samuels. In her 2022 re-election bid, Omar defeated Samuels by a slim two percent margin in the Democratic primary.

In addition to her experience in Ossof’s campaign, she has also worked for Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign as a community organizer and was the statewide voter protection director for the Tennessee Democratic Party.

“All of the issues and rights my constituents and I care about most are under attack, and I will not back down in protecting them,” Rep. Omar told Mshale. “I am an organizer who believes that organized people will always beat organized money, and I am excited to announce a talented and experienced team that will lead our organizing efforts this year.”

Lee added that she anticipates an influx of Republican funding aimed at unseating Rep. Omar, as seen in past races. However, she emphasized the Congresswoman’s reliance on grassroots organizing principles, which should ultimately secure her victory.

“Our campaign is energized and excited to engage with our voters on the issues they care about most,” she said.

On Thursday, Omar announced the staff to lead her reelection bid. As it stands, Omar is the only African-born member in Congress. Since taking office, she has helped to pass over 60 bills, cosponsored over 1,200 bills and accumulated up to $4 billion in federal grant money for Minnesotans.

“I am honored to serve Minnesota’s Fifth District in Congress and I am excited for the opportunity to earn my constituents’ vote for a fourth term,” Omar said. “Since being elected to Congress, I am proud of the work I have done to defend and advocate for women’s rights, address the climate crisis, center human rights in our foreign policy, and protect our democracy and voting rights. My team has helped thousands of constituents restore Social Security benefits, expedite passports, reunite families, restore health insurance, and so much more.”

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