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Abortion rights group launches first salvo against Illinois Dem

NARAL Pro-Choice America, an abortion rights group, launched its first TV ad against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), one of the only anti-abortion rights Democrats in the House.

The 30-second ad comes after a series of endorsements from NARAL and other progressive groups supporting Lipinski’s primary challenger, Marie Newman, a marketing consultant.

The ad will run on cable for one week in Lipinski’s Chicago-area district, targeting him over his voting record, which includes voting against the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and voting to freeze federal funding for Planned Parenthood. The spot also takes aim at his opposition to bills related to same-sex marriage and background checks.

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“Dan Lipinski is way out of step with his constituents and with Democratic party principles when it comes to women’s rights, LGBT equality, and the basic freedoms that Americans hold dear,” Mitchell Stille, NARAL’s national campaign director, said in a statement.

“We’re going to work every day between now and primary day to ensure the voters of his district know Dan’s real record and who he is really representing in Washington. It is far past time to Dump Dan.”

Newman is challenging Lipinski on March 20 in one of the few primaries to a House incumbent. She’s also gotten support from Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandDemocrats torn on impeachment trial timing OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: 12 removed from National Guard inauguration security | Austin backs lifting transgender ban Biden Pentagon pick supports lifting transgender military ban MORE’s (D-N.Y.) leadership PAC and from the liberal blog Daily Kos.

But unseating an incumbent is difficult, since sitting lawmakers typically have a fundraising and name recognition edge. Lipinski, who has served in Congress since 2005, has a significant cash on hand advantage with about $1.5 million in the bank. Newman has about $97,000 in her campaign account.

Newman and her supporters claim Lipinski’s positions don’t match those of his constituents, but the congressman pushed back on that characterization. He said he’s faced similar challenges from progressives in the past, but was able to easily defeat opponents in his primaries and later in the general election.

“I think that the support I’ve received throughout my career in the Democratic primary shows that I’m really in line with a large portion of my district,” Lipinski told The Hill in a recent interview.