Dan Lipinski defeated in Illinois House primary

Progressive challenger Marie Newman narrowly defeated Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.) in the primary in Illinois’s 3rd Congressional District in one of the country’s most-watched House contests.

The Associated Press called the race shortly after midnight on the East Coast. Newman had a roughly 4-point lead with nearly 95 percent of precincts reporting.

Lipinski, who was running for his ninth term and is the first House member of the 2020 cycle to lose a primary, has been targeted by progressives over his opposition to abortion rights and his more conservative stances on issues.

Newman, a former marketing consultant who narrowly lost her primary challenge to Lipinski in 2018, racked up a string of endorsements for her campaign this year.

“I am bursting with pride and gratitude for the amazing coalition that helped bring about much needed change in our district. We are going to work together to lower health care costs, to fight climate change, and to build an economy that works for everyone,” she tweeted after her victory.

The race garnered headlines over Newman and Lipinski’s clashing stances on abortion, but Newman also made sure to center her campaign around local issues like transportation in the Chicago-area district.

Newman is expected to coast to a general election victory in the race for the safe blue seat — after fending off his primary challenge in 2018, Lipinski won reelection by nearly 48 points that year.

Progressive groups were quick to hail Newman’s win, touting it as evidence that the Democratic base is hungry for more liberal representation.

“This is a critical victory for the progressive movement in showing that voters are ready for a new generation of progressive leadership in the Democratic Party,” said Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats. “This isn’t just a loss for one incumbent. It’s a defeat for machine politics and big corporate donors who want to stop our movement for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and reproductive rights.”

“Marie Newman’s primary win tonight is a tremendous victory for progressives and everyone who believes the Democratic party should be unequivocal in its support for abortion rights, LGBTQ equality, and the fight for economic justice,” added Yvette Simpson, the CEO of Democracy For America.

Newman’s win marks a reversal of fortunes for progressives, who have been disheartened after Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), a conservative House member opposed to abortion, eked out a win in his own primary against Jessica Cisneros.

Updated March 18 at 12:33 a.m.

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