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One of the Last Anti-Abortion Democrats in Congress Lost His Primary Last Night

Good riddance.

A woman stands at a voting station.

The attention on this primary season has been heavily–nearly entirely–focused on the presidential race, now down to just Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. But that’s not the only race happening right now. There are some important measures and down-ballot races happening in districts across the country. One of those has been the primary race between Illinois’ incumbent Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski and progressive challenger Marie Newman. And last night, Newman came out the winner.

Lipinksi has been serving his district since 2004 and his father held that seat for more than two decades before him. (In fact, Lipinski first got his seat when his father decided not to run for re-election and the younger Lipinski, who hadn’t lived in Illinois for years, was appointed to replace his father on the ballot with no opposition.)

Newman ran against Lipinksi in 2018 but lost by a narrow margin of about 2100 votes. This year, though, she picked up a number of hefty endorsements, from Elizabeth Warren to Emily’s List to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her new PAC, and in last night’s primary election, she beat Lipinski by a slightly wider margin than the one she lost by two years ago.

Because of the district’s consistently liberal-leaning voting record, it seems unlikely that Newman will lose in the general election in November. And it’s that progressive liberal stance that set her up to beat Lipinski, who is one of the last openly anti-abortion rights, anti-LGBTQ+ Democrats left in Congress.

During his time in Congress, Lipinski has voted to “defund” Planned Parenthood, he co-sponsored a bill that aimed to protect those who wanted to discriminate against LGBTQ+ people on the basis of “religious freedom,” he’s voted for a nationwide 20-week abortion ban and voted against stem cell research, and he’s a co-chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus.

In addition to being in favor of LGBTQ+ and abortion rights, Newman supports a $15 federal minimum wage, Medicare for All, and a Green New Deal.

Lipinski is the first incumbent Democrat to lose his primary race this year, in an election that has been thrown into turmoil by the coronavirus pandemic. (In recent weeks, Newman has had to severely scale back her campaign’s in-person event and canvassing plans.) But Lipinski has long been far too socially conservative for not just his district, but for the direction the Democratic Party has been heading.

There simply is no room in the party for a leader who doesn’t believe women and LGBTQ+ people deserve their basic human rights.

(via HuffPost, image: JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.