Crain’s Chicago Business, “Dem battle intensifies over whether to re-elect Lipinski”

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Rep. Jan Schakowsky again endorses progressive Marie Newman in the race for the Southwest Side seat, but does so months earlier than she did in 2018—while DCCC head Cheri Bustos stays with the incumbent.

BY GREG HINZ | November 5, 2019

Marie Newman, left, is facing off for the second time against U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski in Illinois’ 3rd congressional district.

Illinois’ Democratic congressional delegation once again is splitting down the middle on whether to elect one of its own: Southwest Side social conservative Dan Lipinski.

The party’s campaign wing, headed by East Moline’s Cheri Bustos, effectively is with Lipinski—although Bustos did back off from starring at a Lipinski fundraiser in May after facing pressure from progressive groups. But the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee supports all incumbents, Lipinski included.

That is not stopping North Side liberal Jan Schakowsky from going her own way. In an announcement today, Schakowsky, a ranking member of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s inner circle, said Newman is the woman that district voters now need.

“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,” Schakowsky said in a statement, underlining that Newman and Lipinski strongly disagree with each other on abortion rights. “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 also endorsed Newman in 2018, but not until mid-January. Throwing her backing to Newman this early will give Newman more time to tap Schakowsky’s national network of fundraisers for her campaign.

Other local congressmen have not yet made any endorsements. But Newman is supported by three presidential candidates—Sens. Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren—and from freshman U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Also seeking the 3rd District seat on the Democratic side are attorney Abe Matthew and film production company owner Rush Darwish.

Lipinski, in a quick phone call, made it clear he does not appreciate Schakowsky’s intervention. “Jan Schakowsky and AOC don’t represent the views of the 3rd District,” he snapped. “Their extreme views won’t play well here. I doubt AOC ever has been in the district. Jan may have been once, to ask my dad (former Rep. William O. Lipinski) for something. This (internal fighting) is not what Democrats should be doing.”

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