Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Marie Newman defeated Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) in the primary for Illinois' 3rd congressional district on Tuesday March 17, 2020. (Photo: Marie Newman/Facebook)

'Critical Victory for the Progressive Movement': Marie Newman Ousts Right-Wing Democrat Dan Lipinski

"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."

Jake Johnson

Progressive challenger Marie Newman defeated incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski in the primary for Illinois' 3rd congressional district on Tuesday, ousting the most right-wing Democrat in the House whose eight terms saw him consistently oppose reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, healthcare expansion, and higher wages for workers.

"I am bursting with pride and gratitude for the amazing coalition that helped bring about much needed change in our district," Newman tweeted after she was declared the winner by a close margin. "We are going to work together to lower healthcare costs, to fight climate change, and to build an economy that works for everyone."

"Marie Newman's victory is the culmination of years of work to unseat an entrenched incumbent, and proves that voters across the country are in no mind to stand by as their elected officials throw women and families under the bus."
—Ilyse Hogue, NARAL

Newman, who came up just short of defeating Lipinski in 2018, was backed by a diverse array of progressive advocacy groups and members of Congress, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Newman has voiced support for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and other big-ticket items on the progressive agenda.

"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," Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, said in a statement Tuesday night. "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."

Progressives rallied around Newman after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) last year implemented its blacklist policy of cutting off party funds to vendors and consultants who work with primary challengers—a policy progressives condemned as an effort to protect corporate-friendly conservative Democrats facing insurgent challengers.

Some predicted the policy would backfire, and that appears to be exactly what happened on Tuesday.

"The voters of Illinois' 3rd congressional district have spoken loud and clear, rejecting Rep. Dan Lipinski's anti-choice, anti-equality, and anti-worker agenda," said Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America. "They have a champion in Marie Newman and soon will have a representative in Congress who shares their values and priorities."

"Marie Newman's victory is the culmination of years of work to unseat an entrenched incumbent," Hogue said, "and proves that voters across the country are in no mind to stand by as their elected officials throw women and families under the bus."

The primary came at a perilous moment for Illinois and the U.S. as a whole as the nation attempts to combat the worsening coronavirus crisis, which led Ohio, Georgia, and Maryland to postpone their presidential primaries over concerns for public health.

"Numerous polling places in Illinois shut down Tuesday," The Intercept reported, "while others lacked necessary voting and sanitizing supplies, resulting in hours-long delays."

Given federal recommendations against gatherings of more than 10 people to prevent the spread of COVID-19, observers were appalled by conditions at polling sites across Illinois, where voters at some locations—including uniquely vulnerable elderly people—were huddled in crowded rooms for hours waiting to cast their ballots.

 "Holding primary elections in the middle of a pandemic is absolutely criminal," tweeted The Intercept's Aída Chávez.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Egregious': PFAS Firefighting Foam Spills at Notorious Red Hill Naval Facility in Hawaii

While officials said there is no evidence that drinking water was contaminated, the incident generated further local frustration with the closing fuel storage complex.

Jessica Corbett ·


House Passes Paid Sick Leave for Railway Workers Despite Opposition of 207 Republicans

"Now let's get it through the Senate," said Rep. Jamaal Bowman, who led the fight to add seven days of paid sick leave to a White House-brokered contract that failed to provide any to railroad workers.

Kenny Stancil ·


DeSantis-Backed Education Purge Begins After School Board Takeovers in Florida

"The new playbook of total ideological control is in full swing," said one free expression advocate.

Julia Conley ·


Evidence Grows of Left-Wing Twitter Purge Directed by Musk

"Elon Musk appears to have outsourced decisions about who to ban from Twitter to the platform's right-wing extremists," said The Intercept's Micah Lee.

Brett Wilkins ·


Rights Groups Rip NYC Mayor Over Forced Hospitalizations for Mental Illness

"Forcing people into treatment is a failed strategy," said the head of the NYCLU. "With no real plan for housing, services, or supports, the administration is choosing handcuffs and coercion."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo