Race Between Rep. Lipinski, Newman 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.”

Lipinski disputed that argument in a phone interview with NBC 5.

“I am now working in a bipartisan group on a plan that helps those on DACA in exchange for increased border security that does not include a wall,” he said.

Lipinski has earned a record as a conservative Democrat with some of his votes, including a vote against the Affordable Care Act in 2010, but now says that he is working to keep the bill from being repealed by Congress.

“I have been working on a bipartisan plan that would help to lower premiums by 20 to 30 percent,” he said.

To Newman, that signals that the congressman isn’t far enough to the left to represent the Democratic party.

“Now that people are understanding his record, (they see) he is against health care for all, he is against immigrants, and he’s against choice,” Newman said.

The two candidates have yet to agree on a debate before the March primary, and Lipinski’s campaign has not responded to a request for comment on when, or if, a debate will take place against Newman. 

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