Major Progressive Groups Endorse Against Anti-Abortion House Dem

May 6, 2019

Talking Points Memo: Major Progressive Groups Endorse Against Anti-Abortion House Dem

By: Cameron Joseph

A coalition of major progressive groups has joined together to try to oust Rep. Dan Lipinksi (D-IL), one of the most conservative House Democrats left in Congress.

The pro-abortion rights groups EMILYs List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and NARAL Pro-Choice America, as well as the liberal organizations MoveOn, Progressive Campaign Change Committee and Democracy for America announced a joint endorsement of Marie Newman, who nearly beat Lipinski last year and is now gunning for a rematch.

Lipinski is one of the only House Democrats who opposes abortion rights, and he has taken past positions to the right of the Democratic caucus on issues ranging from LGBTQ rights to immigration to foreign policy.

The endorsements could also put the powerful liberal groups on a collision course with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which is forcing its vendors to sign a loyalty pledge that bars them from working for primary opponents of any sitting House Democratic members. Any strategists who work for Newman won’t get any DCCC work this cycle as a result.

“In a time when the president and GOP have made it clear that stripping away the fundamental rights of women is at the top of their agenda, we must have a leader to stand up against Trump. That is not Congressman Dan Lipinski,” EMILYs List President Stephanie Schriock said in a statement. “Illinoisans deserve a leader who will fight to protect the rights of women and families, and we know Marie Newman will tackle the issues that matter to women and families — from choice and health care to transportation and infrastructure — head on.”

The groups endorsed Newman last time around, but came in late in the race, and she fell just short of defeating Lipinski as the Chicago Democratic Party machine and his union allies helped carry him across the finish line.

Lipinski fired back.

“These endorsements make clear that Marie Newman is again running a ‘tea party of the left’ campaign at the behest of national interest groups rather than focusing on taking care of the everyday concerns of people in the district as I have a track record of doing,” he said in a statement to TPM.

This time, the race will likely have higher turnout since it’ll take place on the same day as the state’s presidential primary election — a factor Newman is likely to benefit from. But another candidate is in the race as well, threatening to siphon off some of the anti-Lipinski vote. Newman failed to impress some allies with her fundraising last cycle, and didn’t help her image when she refused to concede on election night because, she said, “I would like Mr. Lipinski to have a very painful evening.”

The race is shaping up to be one of the more hotly contested House primaries of the election cycle.