MINNEAPOLIS, July 18, 2022 — Former Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels announced today he has filed second quarter fundraising results with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), showing a strong position as he enters the final month in his primary challenge against Rep. Ilhan Omar. Raising just over $593,000 in the second quarter, Samuels builds considerably on his first quarter fundraising result of $351,000. In the closing month of the primary campaign, Samuels has a little more than half a million dollars in cash-on-hand, which will be invested in a robust advertising campaign and direct community engagement, including two upcoming town hall events.
According to Omar’s FEC filing, she raised just under $380,000 in the same time period—falling over $200,000 behind Samuels’ fundraising efforts. She also enters the final month of the primary season trailing Samuels by almost $70,000 in available cash-on-hand.
Samuels and his team are signaling that these fundraising results show voters’ growing support for his campaign and that they are confident in their chance at victory in the August 9th Democratic Primary. In a statement, campaign manager Joe Radinovich said that “Since joining the race in March, we’ve been able to out-raise Rep. Omar during both the first and now the second quarter—giving us a cash-on-hand advantage in this final stretch.”
“Notably, we’ve received over 85% of our donations from Minnesotans and over 60% are from voters in this district,” continued Radinovich. “These numbers are clear evidence that our campaign has the momentum heading into the August 9th primary.”
Not only is Samuels building a strong financial base among local supporters, he is also garnering an impressive field of endorsers. Former Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, former Minnesota Secretary of State Joan Growe, five of six living former DFL state party chairs, and numerous former and current members of the Minneapolis City Council have given Samuels their support in recent weeks.
“I’ve had the honor of working with Don for over two decades, as chair of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee, as a member of my Advisory Council, and the Citizens Response Team” said Arradondo after endorsing Samuels in March. “Don is a visionary and pragmatic leader with a proven track record of building diverse coalitions to solve some of our city’s most challenging issues, which is why I overwhelmingly support his campaign for Congress. I’m confident Don will work hard every day for the people he represents.”
Other notable endorsements come from community members such as peace activist Kay G Wilson, grandfather of 6-year-old Aniya Allen who was killed by a stray bullet last year; and Loretta Arradondo, a noted public safety advocate. The Samuels campaign says that this support from leaders in the public safety community indicates lingering frustration voters feel with Rep. Omar’s radical “Defund the Police” position. Samuels in contrast has been a staunch advocate for public safety and community policing—most recently winning a Minnesota Supreme Court ruling requiring the city of Minneapolis to hire its charter-mandated number of police officers.
Wilson endorsed Samuels early in the primary, saying “I spent years side by side with him in North Minneapolis as ‘boots on the ground’ in the fight for peace and against community violence. Those streets were deadly, dangerous, and heartless; and our work saved lives. And there is more work to do at home in North Minneapolis and in Washington. He is a good man; and he is right for this job at this moment.”
Samuels has also earned the endorsements of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 and the North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters. Both unions released statements saying that disappointment in Rep. Omar’s vote against President Biden’s signature infrastructure bill in November fueled their decision to endorse Samuels.
Samuels recently began a TV ad campaign throughout the metro area on local and national stations. The ad, narrated by his wife Sondra Hollinger-Samuels, describes him as a change-maker who will ally himself with President Joe Biden to create green jobs and codify abortion rights into federal law.
Samuels is campaigning as an alternative for Democrats who are tired of the gridlock in Washington caused by the fringes of both parties. He says his time in Congress will be spent working to find common ground across the political spectrum and negotiating to get bills passed rather than holding to inaction demanded by “purity politics.”
A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Samuels was born the third of 10 children to a Pentecostal pastor and seamstress. In 1970, he immigrated to the United States to pursue an education at New York’s Pratt Institute and later became a toy designer for some of the industry’s top companies.
After moving to Minnesota, Samuels met and married his wife and together they moved to the Jordan neighborhood in North Minneapolis, where they continued a lifelong commitment to always live in the most challenged part of their city.
After a bullet went through their soon to be born daughter’s bedroom window, the Samuelses began organizing their neighbors. Together, they began advocating for policy changes and additional resources to improve community safety. Eventually, Samuels ran for office himself, serving three terms on the Minneapolis City Council and one on the Minneapolis Public Schools Board.
For more information and updates, follow Don Samuels online or on social media by visiting www.DonSamuels.com; Don Samuels for Congress on Facebook; @DonSamuelsMN on Instagram; and @DonSamuelsMN on Twitter.