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Former Illinois Rep. Dan Lipinski, who was one of the last House Democrats to oppose abortion, is reportedly eyeing a bid to win back his old seat next year.
Lipinski, who served eight terms in Congress, lost a Democratic primary last year to challenger Marie Newman by fewer than 3,000 votes. Newman was later elected to represent Illinois's 3rd Congressional District. Lipinski previously defeated a primary challenge from Newman in 2018.
As co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus and one of the last House Democrats who would consistently vote for anti-abortion legislation, Lipinski became a primary target for progressive Democrats. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Bernie Sanders, among others, endorsed Newman in the primary.
Lipinski’s primary loss highlighted how anti-abortion Democrats are becoming virtually extinct within the House after just two decades, when there used to be dozens.
Lipinski did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the report from Crain's Chicago Business.
In a piece last week for the Catholic publication America Magazine, Lipinski wrote: “Americans are pushed by the culture to make a binary choice — Democrat or Republican — and then conform themselves to every belief of their party.”
Lipinski wrote that “sectarian partisanship” and “the leftward move by many Democrats left me more ideologically isolated” within the Democratic Party.
“But the rise of sectarian partisanship rendered Congress almost completely incapable of performing its constitutional duties. It also caused my figurative branding as a heretic within the ranks of the Democratic Party, which led to my loss in the 2020 Democratic primary,” he wrote.
Lipinski said his district included what he called “Reagan Democrats,” who were “blue-collar voters who were pro-life, anti-communist and concerned about high taxes and crime,” and he sought to serve them as such while staying true to his Catholic faith.
“This voting record vexed many people. I simply saw it as keeping true to my mission of pursuing policies that served the common good,” he wrote.
Lipinski argued that he was often labeled a “conservative” Democrat for not voting in complete lockstep with his party “despite voting with Democrats about 90 percent of the time.”
Newman on Monday was already fundraising for her reelection bid on the report, telling supporters, “We can't count on a flimsy ‘Democrat’ like Dan Lipinski.”
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Original Author: Kate Scanlon
Original Location: Anti-abortion Democrat Dan Lipinski considers bid to win back House seat