A Minnesota politician who could become the first Somali-American lawmaker in the country this election season is denying reports from conservative news outlets that she married her brother to gain citizenship to the United States and has had a double-marriage ever since.
Ilhan Omar won a primary election last week that could lead her to become a state representative. But the conservative news website Power Line published a report outlining the marriage claims. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Omar applied for a marriage license in 2002 and never used it, and then in 2009, married a man named Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a union for which there is no divorce record on file. But Omar has said publicly that she is married to a man named Ahmed Hirsi, the father of her three children, with whom she was pictured in campaign literature. The Tribune couldn’t find any record that Omar and Hirsi are married.
Omar’s campaign denied that Elmi is her brother, and said the allegations that she married her brother and is married to two people are “categorically ridiculous and false.”
“Like a lot of families, she and Hirsi, the father of their three children, have had ups and downs, have weathered some storms, but what matters is that they came out of it together,” campaign spokesman Ben Goldfarb said. The campaign also condemned “Trump-style misogyny” and racism, as well as anti-immigration rhetoric.
A writer for Power Line, Scott Johnson, said that the campaign’s response still left many unanswered questions.
Read the full story at the Star Tribune.