Illinois Democratic congressman being challenged on left by political newcomer

A solid blue district in Illinois is facing an identity crisis as Democrats could purge one of their own with a polit...

Posted: Mar 19, 2018 8:59 AM
Updated: Mar 19, 2018 8:59 AM

A solid blue district in Illinois is facing an identity crisis as Democrats could purge one of their own with a political newcomer on Tuesday.

Progressive liberal Marie Newman is challenging Rep. Dan Lipinski, a blue-dog, anti-abortion Democrat who has represented Illinois' 3rd District for more than a decade.

Newman's rise ahead of the primary comes during a tumultuous and polarized time following President Donald Trump's 2016 victory which led to the mobilization and a call to action for many -- especially women.

The day after Trump's inauguration, massive crowds took to the streets to partake in women's marches to protest. Newman said that day "was really the first time I realized nobody is coming to save us."

Newman recalled stepping off the train and seeing the streets lined with women and people coming together.

"I felt powerful and I felt everyone around me was powerful," she said, describing it as a "congealing moment."

Garnering support

Since announcing her campaign, Newman has received endorsements from liberal powerhouses, like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand. Newman also got the backing of sitting Illinois Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez, who broke the tradition of endorsing the incumbent.

Newman has garnered the support of several activist organizations that have formed a coalition to support her campaign, including NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Human Rights Campaign, SEIU, MoveOn, and EMILY's List. The groups have been working in the district since February and will have spent $1.6 million on broadcast & cable TV, mail, and digital ads by Election Day on March 20, according to Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

Their mission, they say, is to educate voters on Lipinski's record, claiming it doesn't align with the opinions of the district despite the fact he has held the seat since 2005. This includes his votes on abortion access, health care and immigration.

"These are really votes that cut to the heart of equality and people having opportunity," said Kevin Griffis, vice president for communications for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Abortion access

Griffis described Lipinski's votes as a "rubber stamp" for the Trump administration, which has taken several actions its first year to support the anti-abortion movement, including attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.

"We do not have to compromise on protecting women's health to win back the House or Senate," New York Sen. Gillibrand said in a statement.

"I am working hard to help recruit, support and mentor pro-choice women candidates all across the country. Marie Newman is an extraordinary fighter and she will be another vote for health care, for women, and for our LGBTQ friends and family. I am proud to support her so we can beat one of the most anti-LGBT members of the Democratic Party left in the House. And as a parent of a trans teen, she will never stop fighting for equality," she continued.

Lipinski's view on abortion strays from the Democratic National Committee platform.

"To guarantee that taxpayers are never forced to pay for abortions and the innocent unborn are protected, we must make the longstanding ban on federal funding for abortion permanent and government-wide," Lipinski told CBS in 2010 when he co-sponsored legislation that was aimed at banning tax-payer funded abortions

Some Democrats, like Conor Lamb who claimed victory in the Pennsylvania special election last Tuesday, have been on the record personally opposed to abortion, but have said that doesn't affect their policies.

In May 2017, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi broke with Democratic Party official Tom Perez, and told The Washington Post abortion should not be a deciding factor for Democratic candidates.

"Most of those people -- my family, extended family -- are not pro-choice. You think I'm kicking them out of the Democratic Party?" Pelosi said.

Pelosi said she was supporting Lipinski's reelection in the primary when addressing reporters at her weekly briefing earlier this month.

Lipinski has also gained support from the anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony List, who tweeted support for the Democratic candidate and said they were canvassing for him.

"Our team of 70 canvassers is gathering for a morning briefing before we load up into vans and head out for our 3rd day visiting homes in #IL03 to urge Democrats to get out and vote for #ProLife Dan Lipinski in his primary!!" the group posted on Twitter on Saturday morning.

The Lipinski campaign did not respond to CNN's interview request.

Mallory Quigley, the communications director for Susan B. Anthony List, was in the district on Saturday campaigning for Lipinski.

"The reason why we're here is because he's specifically being singled out by the party," Quigley said.

"I think they're still in the middle of an internal debate over the role that Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates ought to play," Quigley later added.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
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