After Illinois voters head to the polls for the state’s primaries on Tuesday, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) may become the first member of Congress to lose re-election in 2018.
Lipinski — a “blue dog” Democrat with a conservative voting record who is anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, anti-$15 minimum wage and voted against the Affordable Care Act in 2010 — is facing a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Marie Newman.
At surface level, the race is symbolic of the schism between the Democratic Party and the progressive wing rallying against “establishment” force. However, the Lipinski race doesn’t perfectly fit into that narrative.
Lipinski’s fellow Illinois Democratic Reps. Luis Gutiérrez and Jan Schakowsky endorsed Marie Newman earlier this year, as did rising Democrat star Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).
Additionally, Newman picked up the endorsement of NARAL Pro-Choice America, EMILY’s List — both of whom endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary. She also received the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union — an interest group in the Democratic coalition that spends big on Democratic candidates in federal elections.
Meanwhile, top aides to former President Barack Obama have waded into the race, bashing Lipinski for using a mailer featuring the former president in an attempt to use Obama to carry himself to victory. Lipinski refused to endorse Obama for his re-election bid in 2012.