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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 9:59 AM
Updated: Mar 19, 2018 9:59 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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 74328

Reported Deaths: 3041
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion15860725
Lake7570275
Elkhart484384
Allen3902163
St. Joseph350081
Hamilton2763104
Vanderburgh196313
Hendricks1887108
Cass17959
Johnson1757118
Porter131639
Clark123347
Tippecanoe121111
Madison97965
LaPorte91130
Howard89065
Kosciusko85212
Bartholomew79347
Marshall78422
Floyd77946
Monroe75630
Delaware73052
Dubois69612
Boone67846
Noble67829
Hancock66038
Vigo65110
Jackson5865
Warrick58130
LaGrange55910
Shelby55327
Grant52630
Dearborn50828
Morgan47634
Clinton4343
Henry38320
Wayne37710
White36910
Montgomery35421
Lawrence34627
Harrison33823
Decatur33732
Putnam2888
Miami2742
Daviess27320
Scott26810
Greene25034
Jasper2432
Franklin24214
DeKalb2324
Gibson2254
Jennings22512
Steuben2103
Ripley2087
Carroll1912
Fayette1897
Perry18612
Starke1787
Orange17124
Posey1710
Wabash1693
Fulton1682
Wells1682
Jefferson1632
Knox1540
Whitley1526
Washington1401
Tipton13810
Spencer1363
Sullivan1261
Huntington1223
Randolph1224
Clay1215
Newton11810
Adams1012
Jay910
Owen901
Pulaski831
Rush804
Fountain742
Brown731
Ohio655
Blackford642
Benton610
Pike530
Switzerland520
Vermillion520
Parke511
Crawford450
Martin450
Union410
Warren221
Unassigned0206

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 100848

Reported Deaths: 3669
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin18317524
Cuyahoga13514499
Hamilton9643255
Lucas5348323
Montgomery436294
Summit3555222
Butler292963
Marion292545
Mahoning2554255
Pickaway238742
Stark1827139
Warren178939
Lorain177078
Columbiana165860
Trumbull1524106
Fairfield138732
Delaware130119
Licking128149
Clark114614
Lake111438
Wood104358
Clermont93311
Medina92335
Miami83938
Tuscarawas78214
Portage75861
Allen74044
Greene69012
Belmont62126
Mercer61213
Richland60412
Erie57527
Ashtabula56946
Geauga55644
Wayne53958
Ross4844
Huron3965
Darke39529
Ottawa38626
Hancock3783
Sandusky37716
Madison37410
Athens3571
Holmes3286
Lawrence2830
Auglaize2546
Union2511
Muskingum2361
Jefferson2292
Scioto2261
Seneca2143
Knox2057
Putnam20517
Preble2032
Washington20322
Shelby1944
Coshocton1936
Champaign1762
Crawford1745
Morrow1702
Hardin16512
Clinton1646
Highland1581
Logan1552
Fulton1481
Wyandot1468
Ashland1443
Defiance1444
Williams1353
Perry1303
Brown1292
Hocking1189
Guernsey1177
Henry1172
Fayette1130
Carroll1115
Monroe9318
Pike760
Jackson740
Van Wert711
Paulding690
Gallia651
Adams612
Meigs400
Vinton312
Harrison261
Morgan260
Noble160
Unassigned00
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