Chicago Sun-Times, “Rep. Jan Schakowsky endorsing Marie Newman over Lipinski for Congress”

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The four-way Democratic battle in the 3rd Congressional District is the biggest Democratic showdown in the March 17 Illinois primary.

By Lynn Sweet | Nov 5, 2019

U.S. Congressional Candidate Marie Newman, Wednesday, January 24th, 2018. | James Foster/For the Sun-Times
Democratic House hopeful Marie Newman (James Foster/For the Sun-Times)

Democratic House hopeful Marie Newman is picking up the endorsement of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., on Tuesday, with Schakowsky bucking House Democratic leaders who back the reelection of Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill.

In a statement, Schakowsky said, “With Marie in Congress, we will grow our ability to secure big wins for working families, to protect women’s rights and fight climate change. I am proud to stand with Marie. Her election helps Democrats build a party that is willing to take bold steps to bring affordable health care, including prescription drugs, protect and expand Social Security and Medicare, and raise the wages of working Americans.”

Schakowsky’s endorsement follows a string of high-profile national progressives who have endorsed Newman, more useful for fundraising than on-the-ground organizing. Schakowsky, one of the most prominent progressives in Illinois, can deliver volunteers to knock on doors and make phone calls since she runs a well organized political operation.

The four-way Democratic battle in the 3rd Congressional District is the biggest Democratic showdown in the March 17 Illinois primary.

Newman in 2018 narrowly lost to Lipinski in a one-on-one fight, with Schakowsky among her backers. Schakowsky announced her backing in a January 2018 press conference on Capitol Hill. Schakowsky’s endorsement is coming early for the 2020 rematch.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the House Democratic political operation chaired by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., is supporting all the incumbents. Schakowsky is splitting from House leaders when it comes to Lipinski.

In 2020, Newman has a harder path, since Rush Darwish, who runs a video and film production business, and Abe Matthew, an attorney, are running against Lipinski.

Schakowsky’s 2020 endorsement comes after Newman has collected endorsements from Democrats, including presidential contenders Cory Booker, the New Jersey senator, plus Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the senators from Massachusetts and Vermont. Before they dropped out of the 2020 White House race, Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee backed Newman’s campaign.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the controversial, charismatic freshman also endorsed Newman.

This contest is getting national attention because it mirrors the larger debate over the direction of the Democratic party.

A Democrat seen as right of center — Lipinski, among the dwindling number of Democrats who oppose abortion rights — is running in a primary against a progressive — Newman — at a time the Democratic party and 2020 White House Democratic candidates are moving left.

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