After primary races in the DFL and Republican parties that each contained multiple candidates, DFLer Ilhan Omar will compete with Republican Jennifer Zielinski for the Congressional seat representing Minneapolis and nearby suburbs.

The current representative for the 5th Congressional District, Keith Ellison, is running for Minnesota attorney general instead of seeking re-election to Congress.

Polling locations will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Minnesotans eligible to vote can already cast ballots early for the general election by voting absentee through the mail or in person.

For information on where to vote and how to register, visit sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting.

The Congressional District includes all or parts of Minneapolis, Brooklyn Center, Columbia Heights, Crystal, Edina, Fort Snelling, Fridley, Golden Valley, Hilltop, Hopkins, New Brighton, New Hope, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony Village, St. Louis Park and Spring Lake Park.

Members of Congress each receive a salary of $174,000 per year plus benefits.

Ilhan Omar

Address: 4407 E. Lake St., Minneapolis

Spouse: Ahmed Hirsi

Education: B.A. in international affairs from North Dakota State University

Occupation: State representative in District 60B

Years lived in the district: 21 years

Community/civic organizations involvement: Chair of Gov. Mark Dayton’s Young Women’s Initiative, director of policy for Women Organizing Women, board member at The Legal Rights Center

Have you run for any other office in the past? Yes, Minnesota House of Representatives District 60B in 2016. Served for two years.

Contact info: ilhanomar.com

What concerns relating to your district are you hearing while campaigning and how would you respond to them?

People tell me they are concerned about access to affordable health care. When elected, I will be a strong advocate for passing an improved and expanded Medicare for All Act. I also hear that people worry about the cost of sending their children to college and saddling them with debt. I will fight to ensure that everyone, regardless of their income or ZIP code, has access to a public education, including tuition-free programs. But we must also go further and help those who are burdened with existing student debt. Instead of providing a tax cut to the top 1 percent, we should cancel the $1.4 trillion dollars in student debt.

What is your view of the Trump Administration and issues relating to tariffs, immigration and health care?

I believe the Trump Administration is dividing this country with the politics of fear and scarcity. Our current immigration system is fundamentally unjust. Instead of extending humanity and compassion to migrants and refugees, we treat them as criminals. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has become increasingly militarized, brutal and unaccountable. However, we must not simply revert back to the immigration system that preceded ICE. We must welcome immigrants into our country and provide them simple and accessible means to becoming documented. We must create a fair and accessible pathway to legal status and citizenship for all undocumented people living in the United States.

The right to health care extends to being able to access prescription drugs at an affordable price. Americans pay the highest prices to access the drugs they need to survive. Instead of accepting donations from the pharmaceutical industry, I will work to hold them accountable. Medications are too expensive and we must act boldly to lower prices.

I believe tariffs can be useful if they are a part of a strategy, but the Trump Administration does not have a strategy. Free-trade agreements were passed on the promise that they would help workers across the continent. However, the opposite happened. Jobs have left the United States, and multinational corporations exploit working people and lobby against any labor and environmental protections.

What makes you the best candidate in the race?

I’m running for Congress because I believe in a democracy that is responsive, reflective and representative of its people. We need someone who will fight to advance a progressive agenda in Washington, D.C., and I am that person. I will work with my colleagues in Congress to create a more just and humane immigration system, which allows accessible paths to citizenship, and fight to ensure environmental justice and energy independence.

Jennifer Zielinski

Address: 6045 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis

Spouse: Did not respond

Education: B.A. in sociology with a criminal justice focus

Occupation: Clinic specialist

Years lived in the district: 15 years

Community/civic organizations involvement: Election judge, teaching English as a Second Language, Community Action Partnership of Suburban Hennepin volunteer tax preparer

Have you run for any other office in the past? I ran for Minneapolis Park Board in 2017 but was unsuccessful.

Contact info: jen4us.com

What concerns relating to your district are you hearing while campaigning and how would you respond to them?

Health care continues to be an issue. Many in my district do not want to lose health care if anything changes in the Affordable Care Act. Other issues that also are center stage are some main issues such as the economy and immigration. I respond to all three that I will work for the best possible solution. I will make sure that the most vulnerable in our society are protected and any fix we make does not hurt Minnesotans.

What is your view of the Trump Administration and issues relating to tariffs, immigration and health care?

I want to continue to work with the Trump Administration on tariffs. There is concern about tariffs directly affecting Minnesota farmers, and we need to make sure our local economies are thriving. For tariffs, I want to make sure our economy is protected as a country but we are working toward free trade in a global market.

When it comes to health care, I believe the free market is the best solution. I want to stop insurance companies from having a stranglehold on our health care and allow families more control over their health care. I do not want to make any changes to Medicare or Medicaid as they are now unless something better can be put in place.

For immigration, I do believe in securing our borders. We need to keep Americans and all those who come to our country safe. I want to fix our immigration system as it is broken and slow to allow in people. I welcome immigrants as they add to our country. Let’s work toward a better process so those who want to be part of America can become citizens sooner. For those who are undocumented in our communities, I would want to work with them toward the process of citizenship.

What makes you the best candidate in the race?

I am the candidate and the Congresswoman who will work to end the gridlock in D.C. I will work across party lines to focus on issues, especially those that are listed in the previous two questions. I am there to work for my constituents.

Copyright © 2018 at Sun Newspapers/ APG Media of East Central Minnesota. Digital dissemination of this content without prior written consent is a violation of federal law and may be subject to legal action.

Load comments