Finally, after years of trying, a progressive ends the Lipinski dynasty in Illinois. Dan Lipinski's conservative views on abortion, same-sex marriage, not supporting the Affordable Care Act, and a host of other issues have long been considered outside the current Democratic mainstream. But because of the formidable machine behind him, formed when his father was in congress (1983-2005) it was always difficult to find the right challenger. That ended last night when Marie Newman ended their nearly forty-year run in Congress.
Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois became the first House incumbent to lose their primary election in 2020, CNN projects, in a victory for progressives and abortion-rights advocates who have long seen the eight-term congressman as being out of touch with the Democratic Party.
After coming close to unseating him in the 2018 primary, Marie Newman defeated Lipinski on Tuesday amid a coronavirus pandemic that has caused several states to postpone their primaries. With 97% of precincts reporting in the district, Newman had 47.6% of the vote to Lipinski's 44.1%.
For many reasons, 2020 was not like 2018 -- not the least of which was the pandemic, which may have shaped turnout in ways that were detrimental to the congressman, whose supporters in this Chicago-area district have tended to skew older.
The primary in Illinois' 3rd Congressional District was another test of whether a progressive female candidate could unseat a Blue Dog Democrat, whose local loyalties have been fading as his district changes, and whether the House Democratic conference would be even less of a "big tent" on abortion rights.