Ilhan Omar's career on the line in tough Tuesday primary

Melton-Meaux, a Black mediation lawyer, is trying to turn Omar’s celebrity into a liability by casting himself to voters as someone who will eschew the spotlight and controversy and deliver for the district.

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He raised a whopping $3.2 million in one quarter and nabbed an endorsement from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, which in an editorial praised his “thoughtful approach holds out the promise of building common ground.” (The newspaper hit Omar for missing votes in Congress and funneling campaign funds toward her now-husband’s political consulting firm.)

Omar is being vastly outspent on the air, a dynamic that is usually concerning for an incumbent. Melton-Meaux has spent nearly $2.1 million on TV ads, compared to Omar’s $875,000, according to data compiled by the media tracking firm Advertising Analytics. Omar has invested some $400,000 on digital ads but Melton-Meaux has $1.5 million in outside help.

A high-spending super PAC, Americans for Tomorrow’s Future, has also waded into the race, spending close to $2.5 million on mailers and TV ads criticizing Omar and boosting Melton-Meaux.

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