Writing in City Journal, Scott Johnson investigates allegations that Ilhan Omar, a Democratic-Farmer-Labor candidate for Minnesota state representative who recently won her primary and is on the verge of becoming the nation’s first Somali-American legislator, is legally married to her brother.
As many candidates do, Omar has made her personal background an integral part of her campaign. But neither the candidate nor the reporters who covered her have shown much interest in exploring one aspect of her personal story that recently came to public attention: the fact that she is not legally married to the man she advertises as the husband and the father of her three children. In fact, she is legally married to another man—who may be her brother. A posting on the SomaliSpot discussion board alleged that Omar had married the man touted as her husband in 2002 before marrying her brother for fraudulent purposes in 2009. The post, which seems to have been written by someone from Minneapolis’s Somali community, was quickly deleted. By the time it came to my attention, the post was only available via a Google cache (now also deleted). If the story is true, however, it suggests that Omar had engaged in some kind of dishonest activity in connection with her marriage to her brother (which by itself would be illegal).