Who is Marie Newman? Illinois congresswoman faces Democratic incumbent in redrawn district

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Two incumbent congressional Democrats are vying for one district in Illinois on Tuesday. Rep. Marie Newman, who previously represented the 3rd District, is now running in the 6th District against Rep. Sean Casten.

It’s the only race in Illinois where two incumbent Democrats are running against each other, and the Chicago-area district is expected to be one of the closest races in the general election.

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About Illinois' 3rd Congressional District

Newman first ran for office in 2018 against 3rd District Democratic incumbent Dan Lipinski. Lipinski defeated her with 51.2% compared to her 48.8%.

Newman defeated Lipinski in the Democratic primary in 2020, receiving national progressive endorsements like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She received 47% of the vote, with Lipinski just shy of 45%.

Lipinski had held the seat since 2005, and before that, his father William Lipinski had held it for 22 years.

Following a 2021 investigation by the House Ethics Committee, the Office of Congressional Ethics unanimously voted that there was reason to believe Newman bribed a potential primary candidate into not running against her by offering him a position in her office.

Marie Newman, 3rd district Democratic candidate, waits to greet voters outside Kolmar Elementary School in Oak Lawn, Ill., on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.
Marie Newman, 3rd district Democratic candidate, waits to greet voters outside Kolmar Elementary School in Oak Lawn, Ill., on Tuesday, March 20, 2018.

Newman admitted to signing a contract promising Iymen Chehade a job in her congressional office in exchange for not running against her in the 2020 primary, paying him twice as much as similar jobs were paid. Chehade said his decision not to run against Newman was based on her promise of a job.

More: Ill. Rep. Marie Newman's alleged political bribe is focus of Ethics Committee investigation

The 6th District includes parts of Chicago suburban areas like Downers Grove and Lombard, but it now includes parts of the 3rd District in southwestern Cook County.

Newman’s home was drawn into the 4th District, but a majority of her 3rd District constituents now live in the 6th.

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Who is running against Marie Newman?

In the Democratic primary, Newman faces off against Casten.

Casten has represented the 6th District since 2019. While his home is in the district, now only 23% of his constituents live there now due to redistricting. This gives Newman an advantage, as 41% of her former 3rd District constituents are now in the 6th.

Who is Sean Casten?: Who is Sean Casten? Illinois congressman faces another Democratic incumbent in redrawn district

FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2021 file photo, Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democratic incumbents, Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman, are facing off for a Chicago-area seat in the Democratic primary Tuesday, June 28.
FILE - In this Aug. 23, 2021 file photo, Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. Democratic incumbents, Reps. Sean Casten and Marie Newman, are facing off for a Chicago-area seat in the Democratic primary Tuesday, June 28.

Newman is positioning herself as the more progressive opponent to Casten, as she supports the Green New Deal and a $15 minimum wage. That’s the same strategy she used against Lipinski, one of the most conservative Democrats in Congress. Casten is more to the left than Lipinski was, though, as he has voted with President Joe Biden 97% of the time.

Casten has outraised and outspent Newman by a wide margin. According to FEC filing, Casten has spent $3.1 million and has over $886,000 on hand, while Newman has spent $1.4 million and has over $394,000 on hand.

Operation mechanic and former precinct captain Charles Hughes is also running against Newman and Casten. He ran against Newman in the 3rd District in 2020 and received 2% of the vote.

Whoever wins the primary race will have a Republican challenger looking to flip the redrawn districts, expected to be one of the closest races in the state. Six Republicans are running in the primary.

Where does Marie Newman live?

She lives in La Grange. The town was part of the former 3rd District, which she represented. But after redistricting, her home is now in the newly-drawn 4th District with a heavily Hispanic population.

While Newman does not live in the 6th, 41% of her former 3rd District constituents are now in the 6th, which is what prompted her to run there against Casten.

Who is Marie Newman's family?

Newman and her husband Jim have been married since 1996 and have two children.

Newman’s daughter Evie came out as transgender in 2014. After Evie faced bullying in school, she and another mom established a framework for school districts to address bullying that was adopted by former Gov. Pat Quinn, according to Newman’s campaign website. Newman also founded the nonprofit “Team Up To Stop Bullying.”

What is Marie Newman's platform?

Newman is a progressive Democrat and is part of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. She supports the Green New Deal, the Equality Act and Medicare for All.

Newman is outspoken on Israeli/Palestinian issues and was one of eight Democrats to vote against funding the Iron Dome defense system.

On gun control, Newman supports reinstating an assault weapons ban and instituting “red flag laws” that would deny guns to people who are deemed dangerous.

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Who has endorsed Marie Newman?

Progressive lawmakers including Pramila Jayapal, Rashida Tlaib and Ro Khanna have endorsed Newman.

Newman also has endorsements from organizations including Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Everytown for Gun Safety, Sunrise Chicago and Our Revolution Illinois.

Marie Newman campaigns in the Archer Heights neighborhood of Chicago. She represents Illinois' 3rd District, and is running now in the 6th District after redistricting.
Marie Newman campaigns in the Archer Heights neighborhood of Chicago. She represents Illinois' 3rd District, and is running now in the 6th District after redistricting.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Democrats Marie Newman, Sean Casten face off in Illinois primary