The Democratic party is refusing to endorse a veteran congressman from Chicago who opposes abortion, and has voted against Obamacare, marriage equality and immigration reform — risking its chances of winning the House in November, Politico reported.
Seven-term Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., faces a March 20 primary challenge from Marie Newman, and the refusal of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to back Lipinski underscores tensions between the caucus’s centrist and progressive lawmakers, Politico reported.
“I don’t think what the DCCC does or says means a lot for my race as much as sending a signal to other Democrats who are looking to run,” Lipinski told Politico.
“Democrats have to know that they’re going to have the full support [of the DCCC] even if they’re not straight in the party line,” he added. “And we need candidates who are not straight along the party line to win the districts we need for the majority.”
Lipinski is one of three co-chairmen of a coalition of center-left Democrats known as the Blue Dogs that’s been trying to rebuild since Republicans took back the House, Politico noted.
According to Politico, group leaders Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, and Jim Costa, D-Calif. thought in January that an endorsement for the incumbent was in the works. But Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., a member of DCCC leadership, has now endorsed Newman, as has another progressive from Illinois, Rep. Luis Gutierrez. And there’s still no endorsement of Lipinski from the DCCC.
“I think it’s shocking that the DCCC or Chairman [Ben Ray] Luján [D-N.M.] can’t say that they support Congressman Lipinski. Supporting incumbents should be number one there,” an unnamed senior Democratic House staffer told Politico.
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