Chicago Sun-Times, “Lipinski challenger drops out, endorses Newman in Democratic primary for Congress”

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With the departure of Abe Matthew, an attorney from Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, it’s now a three-way primary for the congressional seat.

By Lynn Sweet | Nov 12, 2019

Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski with Democrat Marie Newman in 2018 File Photo.| James Foster/For the Sun-Times
Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski with Democrat Marie Newman in 2018 file photo. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times

WASHINGTON — Democratic House hopeful Abe Matthew is dropping his primary bid to unseat Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., and endorsing Marie Newman on Tuesday.

That leaves Lipinski, from Western Springs, facing two rivals for the 3rd Congressional District seat: Newman, from LaGrange, and Rush Darwish, from Palos Hills, who runs a photo and video production company.

Matthew, an attorney from Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood, plus Newman and Darwish are abortion rights progressives. If all three progressives were on the March 17 primary ballot, Lipinski, a social conservative and abortion foe, would be a favorite to win.

In 2018, Newman narrowly lost in a one-on-one. Lipinski got 48,675 votes, or 42 percent, to Newman’s 46,530, or 40.15 percent.

Matthew said in a statement, “I entered this race because there is a hunger in our nation for leadership on the issues of pressing concern for our people.

“The mothers and fathers of our district struggle to put food on the table. We mourn the loss of our daughters and sons to gun violence. Our sisters and brothers fall ill, yet we watch them suffer because they cannot afford the cures” said Matthew. “I am endorsing Marie Newman because I trust her to fight for the mothers and fathers who are struggling to get by. I trust her to work to stem the tide of gun violence afflicting our sons and daughters. I trust her to fight for universal health care so our sisters and brothers can get the care they need. Marie will be our advocate in Congress.”

Matthew had been struggling in fundraising. In the third quarter, he reported raising $5,126 with $57,724 cash on hand compared to Lipinski, raising $177,741 with $693,088 cash on hand; Newman, raising $351,326 with $514,237 cash on hand; and Darwish, raising $272,779 with $318,113 cash on hand.

Newman and Matthew will discuss the endorsement at a joint press conference at the Bridgeport Arts Center, 1200 W. 35th St., on Tuesday morning.

Winning the primary in the heavily Democratic district all but guarantees the House seat in the November election. The district takes in some Southwest Side wards and a swath of the southwest suburbs.

Newman said in a statement, “We have a golden opportunity to make a change in our community this March. An opportunity to elect someone to Congress who will truly be an advocate for workers and working families. I am so honored to have the endorsement of Abe Matthew, and I know that with his help, we can make that change a reality.

Zac Plantz, Lipinski campaign spokesman said in a statement, “It was obvious Abe Matthew was going to have a difficult time in this race when he did little to distinguish himself beyond the extremist views he shares with Marie Newman. Those policies will raise taxes on the middle class and take away private health insurance from 170 million Americans. Fortunately, voters in the Third District want mainstream, not extreme. Dan Lipinski will continue to work on behalf of working families in the district to fight for workable policies that help create jobs, improve access to affordable healthcare, address climate change, improve roads and public transit, keep communities safe, and improve infrastructure and education.”

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