Don Samuels reflects on primary loss to Rep. Ilhan Omar
MINNEAPOLIS -- Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar narrowly defeated Don Samuels in the 5th Congressional District primary election on Tuesday night.
The incumbent lawmaker had 50% of the vote, while Samuels received 48%. But Samuels says his work is far from over.
The front porch of his north Minneapolis home is where Samuels sat and reflected on where he's been and where he is going.
"I'm not really a politician, remember I came into office in my early fifties," Samuels said. Before his run for congress he was a Minneapolis City Councilman and Minneapolis School Board member.
"It sends a message to the incumbent that her work needs serious help. She should listen to voters otherwise she can't keep her seat," Samuels said.
He added a leader's lifestyle is one of dedication and sacrifice.
"I would like to think I am a servant leader who puts himself in places of greatest pain and bring voice to the folks who hurt the most, "said Samuels.
He will continue to be that voice and advocate for the community he raised his family in.
For Samuels, his time as servant leader is not over. He refused to repeat what he's said in the past about not running for office again.
"I use to say that I did so clearly I shouldn't make any strong pronouncement," said Samuels.
What he will say is true leaders never fade into the background, they just dig in and work harder.
"I don't even know what it means to be a politician who enthusiastically runs for office and then loses and goes away. I don't understand that type of leadership. To me leadership as politicians is an occasional opportunity to turn that lifestyle into policy," said Samuels.
Omar said Republicans and "conservative Democrats" worked together to vote her out.
She said, "This win is for everyone who still believes that hate, division and regression will not be the legacy of the Fifth [District.]"