Pro-Life Democrat Lipinski Survives Liberal Primary Challenge in Illinois

Dan Lipinski / Facebook

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One of the only remaining pro-life Democrats in Congress survived an aggressive primary challenge from the left on Tuesday night, as Rep. Dan Lipinski (D., Ill.) edged out Marie Newman to win the Democratic nomination in Illinois' third district.

The Associated Press called the race for Lipinski after midnight local time with him up by less than 2 percentage points and with 97 percent of precincts in the Chicago-area district reporting votes.

The race received national attention due to Newman's support from two other Illinois House Democrats, Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez—a rare rebuke of a sitting congressman—as well as from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y).

She also had the backing of Emily's List, the Human Right's Campaign, and the pro-choice group NARAL, among other left-wing organizations eager to drum out his opponent. Newman, with barely disguised contempt, called Lipinski a "straight-up Republican" who didn't represent the party's values.

Lipinski, a member of the dwindling Blue Dog coalition of more moderate Democrats, has angered liberals with not only his stance on abortion but also his "no" vote on the Affordable Care Act and decision to not endorse President Barack Obama in 2012.

He has held the seat, previously his father's, since 2004. Lipinski said it would be a "disaster" for Democrats to push people like him out of the party. Although he's often described as "conservative," according to Roll Call, he's voted with his party 87 percent of the time while in Congress.

On Tuesday night, Newman would not concede, telling supporters she "would like Mr. Lipinski to have a very painful evening."

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