Chicago Magazine: Could a Political Newcomer Unseat Illinois’s Most Conservative Democrat?

Marie Newman might be the perfect person (at the perfect time) to take down seven-term congressman Dan Lipinski.

Marie Newman has never run for anything, ever, in her 53 years. Not for village board in La Grange, where she lives. Not for the library board. Not even for class president when she was a student at Carl Sandburg High School in Orland Park. Nonetheless, she’s certain she can be the one to finally unseat Dan Lipinski, a seven-term incumbent in the 3rd Congressional District, in the March 20 Democratic primary.

She’s not totally nuts to think she can pull it off. Newman is basking in the endorsements of feminist icon Gloria Steinem, New York senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and groups advocating for women, such as NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Feminist Majority Foundation. She’s also running with the hurricane of #MeToo at her back. The businesswoman and mother of two wonders why women would vote for Lipinski, a “radical extremist … on a crusade against women” who’s voted to defund Planned Parenthood and cosponsored legislation that would allow businesses to discriminate against LGBT people.

As for Lipinski, 51, he seems slightly annoyed when I list Newman’s backers. “What really matters is what goes on in the district,” says the Western Springs resident, rattling off his support from most suburban mayors and city aldermen in the 3rd District. The congressman, often called the most conservative Democrat in the House, is not accustomed to competition. Thanks to backing from Illinois House speaker Mike Madigan and the unions that join him, Lipinski has skated through elections since 2004, facing realistic challengers in the Democratic primary only twice, in 2006 and 2008.

Newman is polling at just 18 percent to Lipinski’s 49 percent, according to numbers released in January by Normington, Petts & Associates. But that’s with 33 percent undecided. After those pollsters then gave respondents a rundown of Lipinski’s record on LGBT issues and immigration, Newman actually moved ahead, 39 percent to 34 percent. The message: Many voters don’t realize how conservative Lipinski is. Often referred to as a “Trump Democrat,” he voted with the president’s agenda more than 30 percent of the time last year, according to analysis by FiveThirtyEight.


Chicago Sun-Times: Schakowsky, Gutierrez endorsing Lipinski Democratic primary rival Marie Newman

WASHINGTON – In a rare break of the usual tradition of House incumbents either backing each other or staying neutral in a primary, Illinois Democratic Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez on Wednesday are endorsing challenger Marie Newman over Rep. Dan Lipinski.

Newman winning the backing of Schakowsky and Gutierrez dramatizes the intra-party Democratic divide that is animating this contest for the third congressional district seat.
Lipinski is one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress. Newman’s views are allied with Schakowsky and Gutierrez, prominent members of the Democratic progressive wing.

Informing Newman’s bid: In the March 2016 presidential primary, in the third district, Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton went on to defeat President Donald Trump in the district.

The third congressional district is mainly Southwest Suburban turf with a corridor connecting it to Southwest Side territory in Chicago represented by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois. Madigan has always protected Lipinski, the son of his ally, former Rep. William Lipinski D-Ill.

The winner of the upcoming March Democratic primary basically will determine who clinches the seat next November.


Mother Jones: These 7 Primary Fights Will Shape the Future of the Democratic Party

Democrats are lining up to resist Trump. First they’ll have to battle each other.

With 10 Democrats up for reelection in states Donald Trump won, the party needs a lot to go right if it’s going to take back the Senate this year. But at least one big thing already has: The most vulnerable Democratic incumbents have almost universally avoided any kind of primary challenge. Even as the party lurches left, moderate Democrats in red states—such as Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, and Indiana Sen. Joe Donnelly—are running without opposition from their party’s insurgent wing. In fact, the only Democratic senator to face a high-profile challenge from the left is Dianne Feinstein, in deep-blue California.

But the Senate notwithstanding, 2018 is shaping up to be a big year for Democrats, and a series of high-stakes primary contests this spring and summer will determine what kind of party emerges when the dust settles in November. Many of the debates that have dogged the party over the past few years (and beyond)—the role for pro-life Democrats, the power of big-money donors, and the future of the Bernie Sanders coalition—will be playing out once again in various races across the country. Here’s a quick guide to some primaries to watch:

IL-03: Democrat Dan Lipinski has been a thorn in progressives’ side almost since he inherited the seat from his father, longtime Rep. Bill Lipinski, in 2004. Although the seat, which includes parts of southwest Chicago and the suburbs, is safely Democratic, the younger Lipinski is staunchly anti-abortion, has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, and is a member of the centrist Blue Dog caucus. Activists have taken aim at the incumbent several times over the last decade, with little to show for their efforts. But this year Lipinski will face his toughest primary test—from businesswoman Marie Newman. The reproductive rights advocacy group NARAL, Democracy for America (the progressive organization founded by Howard Dean), and the LGBT rights group Human Rights Campaign are all backing Newman, as is New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The March 20 primary will be a major test for activists who want the party to draw a clearer line on reproductive rights.


Huffington Post: 10 Democratic Primaries To Watch In 2018

These races could shape the party’s prospects in the midterm elections.

After big wins in Virginia and Alabama last year, Democrats are poised to make gains in this November’s midterm elections.

But first, a series of contentious Democratic primaries could shape how well the party fares in November, as well as the ideological character of the incoming Democratic elected officials.

Here are some of the most pivotal Democratic Party primaries to watch in 2018.

Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), center, is fending off a liberal primary challenge from businesswoman Marie Newman. Newman has the backing of major progressive groups.

Illinois 3rd Congressional District

Marie Newman, a progressive businesswoman, stands a fighting chance of unseating Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), an anti-abortion social conservative from Chicago’s southwestern suburbs.

Newman, a former partner at an advertising agency who went on to found an anti-bullying nonprofit, is running on a mainstream liberal platform that would make her hard to distinguish from many other members of the House Democratic Caucus. But compared with Lipinski, she’s the second coming of Elizabeth Warren. In addition to favoring abortion restrictions, Lipinski has opposed a law that would protect LGBT Americans from workplace discrimination, and has taken several conservative stances on immigration, including by voting against a 2010 version of the Dream Act. (Last summer, Lipinski co-sponsored a bill extending legal protection for undocumented immigrants who benefitted from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.)

Lipinski’s deviations from the increasingly progressive Democratic Party consensus have been enough for Newman to win endorsements from mainstream liberal groups, like NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Human Rights Campaign and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s political action committee, as well as more predictable players like Daily Kos, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Democracy for America and Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Emily’s List and a long list of influential labor unions have yet to endorse in the race.

National Nurses United Backs Marie Newman

Over 150,000 Strong, Largest Union of Registered Nurses Throw Support Behind Newman

The National Nurses United (NNU) endorsed Marie Newman’s congressional campaign this week, adding to the growing excitement building for her campaign. The organization joins a rapidly-growing list of progressive organizations and labor unions backing Newman in her efforts to take back the 3rd district for women and families. With over 150,000 members nationwide, NNU is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses known for their strong record of promoting the interests of patients and advancing collective bargaining rights for direct care nurses and patients across the U.S.

“Americans trust nurses and nurses trust Marie Newman to be deeply committed to our nurses values:  caring, compassion, and community,” said Martese Chism, RN, and member of the Board of Directors of National Nurses Organizing Committee, NNU’s Illinois affiliate. “Medicare for All can make the difference between life and death for millions of our patients and Marie’s passion for campaign finance reform will place the voices of people over the money of corporations.”

“Nurses are the backbone of our community and our most trusted advocates. Not only do we rely on nurses to care for our loved ones, but they are on the front lines of the fight to expand medicare coverage for all Americans, negotiate collective bargaining rights for hardworking RN’s everywhere, and fight for legislation and protections that will keep us all safe and healthy,” said Marie Newman. “I could not be more proud to earn their endorsement and continue our partnership working together to ensure healthcare coverage for women and families across the 3rd district.”

Marie Newman has swiftly built strong progressive momentum, landing endorsements from progressive groups and leaders across the board. Newman’s race has been recognized nationally as one of the top races to watch in 2018 as she takes on anti-choice and out-of-touch Rep. Dan Lipinski.

The Hill: Seven primary races to watch in 2018

A historic number of candidates and an all-out fight for control of the House means 2018 will feature a number of closely contested primaries.

Here are seven primaries to watch in the new year.

Illinois’s 3rd District — Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D)

On paper, Lipinski looks to be a sure thing for reelection in his Chicago-land district. He inherited the district from his father in 2005, and he’s rarely faced competitive primaries or difficult general election challenges.

But Lipinski is opposed to abortion rights, a position that has prompted groups like NARAL Pro-Choice America, and the Human Rights Campaign to support his opponent, Marie Newman. Newman also has support from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) through her leadership PAC.

The challenge facing Newman is a steep one — Lipinski is far outpacing Newman in fundraising, and his string of reelection wins suggests his constituents aren’t hungry for change. But the primary is a microcosm of Democrats’ larger battle over abortion, making the race one to watch.


POLITICO: Progressives hunt down one of the last conservative Democrats

Chicago-based Congressman Dan Lipinski has never before been targeted with so much political firepower.

CHICAGO — Powerful interests are lined up against him. Outside spending groups are forming to advocate for his defeat. National political figures have endorsed his opponent.And that’s just within Democratic Congressman Dan Lipinski’s own party.

Lipinski, one of the few remaining conservative Democrats in Congress, is under siege from the left, battling for his political life against progressives who are teaming up to replace him with a candidate far more in line with liberal orthodoxy.

That candidate, Marie Newman, a businesswoman and former marketing consultant, already has high-profile endorsements from feminist icon Gloria Steinem and New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand — an unusual show of opposition against a fellow Democratic congressional incumbent.

Newman has also received a rare joint endorsement from a handful of influential progressive groups: NARAL,, Democracy for America, Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Human Rights Campaign.

While Lipinski is accustomed to drawing primary challenges in his Chicago-based district, he’s never before been targeted with so much local and national firepower.

“Dan Lipinski has a real, formidable challenger like he’s never had before. The environment is different … The energy is palpable,” said Sasha Bruce, vice president for campaigns and strategies with NARAL, referring to the energy created by resistance to President Donald Trump. “This is a staunchly progressive values-Democratic district.”

First elected in 2004, Lipinski is something of an exotic species: a Democrat who opposes abortion and cast votes against both the Affordable Care Act and the DREAM Act, which sought to provide a pathway to citizenship for young undocumented immigrants.

He was the only Democrat to cosponsor the “First Amendment Defense Act,” which protects those who refuse services to same sex couples, and the only Illinois Democrat to support drug testing of those seeking unemployment benefits — a move that has at least some union leaders considering opposing his reelection.


The Intercept: “A Primary Challenge to a Right-Wing Democrat in Illinois Divides the Resistance”

LATE LAST MONTH, a group of five national progressive organizations announced their support for Marie Newman, a Democrat running for Congress in Illinois. Nothing unusual there: Newman is a down-the-line progressive on everything from economic populism, immigration, LGBT rights, gun violence and a woman’s right to choose.

What made the move so unusual is that there is already a Democrat safely in the seat.

In a year defined by fierce resistance to President Donald Trump, the move marked the most aggressive challenge to a sitting Democrat this cycle, because it wasn’t organized by groups that have been set up specifically to challenge Democrats from the left, but rather by ones that often support those who’ve already been elected, while training their fire instead on Republicans.

The groups broadly come from the activist wing of the party that is comfortable working with establishment Democrats, if at occasionally an arms-length distance: NARAL Pro-Choice America, the Human Rights Campaign,, Democracy for America, and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. The five joined Daily Kos, which had previously endorsed Newman.

As a signal of how significant the move was, take note of who did not join in the endorsement: Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, or organized labor.

The latter absence is not hard to explain, as Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., much like his father before him, has long commanded the loyalty of unions in the district, who are closely tied to the party machinery, a machine that can still move a lot of ground in the state. “We’ve been gunning for Lipinski for something like 10 years now, and until organized labor abandons him, it’s always an uphill slog. But he certainly has no business being a Democrat and would love to see Newman catch fire,” Markos Moulitsas, head of Daily Kos, told The Intercept.

But for Planned Parenthood and EMILY’s List, the abstention is a window into the power of incumbency and the influence of the national Democratic Party.

The letter “D” might come after Lipinski’s name, but he doesn’t vote like a Democrat in 2017. Anti-choice, skeptical of LGBT rights, and often on the side of anti-immigrant efforts, Lipinski’s record is far out of step with his district, which went for Bernie Sanders by roughly eight points in the Democratic primary, and to Hillary Clinton by about 16 points in the 2016 general election.


NBC 5 Chicago: Newman / Lipinski Race Drawing National Attention

The race in Illinois’ 3rd District may not have the attention of the race to replace Luis Gutierrez, but a challenger to Rep. Dan Lipinski could change that.

Marie Newman, a former marketing consultant and businesswoman, is viewed as a progressive challenger to Lipinski, whom is considered by many to be one of the most conservative Democrats in Washington.

Newman has been gathering endorsements for the primary run against Lipinski, and it’s drawing national attention to their showdown. She decided earlier this year to run against Lipinski, who has been in Congress since 2005.

“Progressive means that I’m for workers, families, health care for all, women, and everyone’s rights,” she said. “I guess that makes me a progressive.”

Her positions have already yielded results, according to the candidate. Newman says that Lipinski has altered his position on immigrants, known as “DREAMers.”


Women’s Rights Pioneer Gloria Steinem Endorses Marie Newman

Steinem, Feminist Majority, American Women’s Party Endorse Newman’s Bid for IL-3

Chicago, IL – Today, Gloria Steinem, long-time activist and institutional leader in the women’s rights movement, announced her endorsement of Marie Newman in her bid to represent Illinois’ 3rd District. Steinem is joined by leading women’s rights groups Feminist Majority and the American Women’s Party in supporting Newman’s campaign.

“We need effective, principled fighters who can put an end to this president’s unilateral actions by stopping them in Congress – and that’s what Marie Newman will do,” said Gloria Steinem. “It’s what she stands for. She is unafraid of doing what’s right, even in this time when it isn’t easy. Too many times, Dan Lipinski has voted to deprive citizens of healthcare, to oppose immigrant’s rights, to de-fund Planned Parenthood, to suppress contraception, to oppose marriage equality, and to deny the rights of LGBTQ Americans. He is not a Democrat or even a supporter of human rights.”

“The Feminist Majority is proud to endorse Marie Newman to represent the 3rd District of Illinois in the United States House of Representatives,” said Eleanor Smeal, president of the Feminist Majority. “Newman will fight to protect, improve and expand access to healthcare for all people, including defending women’s health clinics and a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions. From gun safety, to protecting the environment, to advocating for paid family leave, Marie Newman is the feminist choice and will be a strong voice for Illinois in the United States House of Representatives.”