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Duke alum Dan Lipinski ousted from House seat in primary by progressive Marie Newman

Marie Newman, left, defeated Dan Lipinski, right.
Marie Newman, left, defeated Dan Lipinski, right.

After a decade and a half in Congress, Duke alumnus Dan Lipinski has lost his seat. 

One of the most conservative Democrats on Capitol Hill, Lipinski, Graduate School ‘98, fell in the Democratic primary yesterday in a tight race to Marie Newman, a progressive backed by self-described “Democratic socialist” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. 

Lipinski is one of few pro-life Democrats in Congress and has served in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District, which includes parts of Chicago, since 2005. A Republican has not served in the Congressional district since the 1970s. 

In an election marked by low turnout amidst the coronavirus pandemic spreading throughout the country, Newman won 48.2% to 45.8%, riding strong support in the suburbs. Newman had challenged Lipinski in the 2018 primary but fell by just more than 2,000 votes. 

“I am bursting with pride and gratitude for the amazing coalition that helped bring about much needed change in our district,” Newman tweeted late Tuesday night. “We are going to work together to lower health care costs, to fight climate change, and to build an economy that works for everyone.”

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., congratulated Newman on her victory early Wednesday morning, calling her an "unwavering champion" for Illinois families.

Lipinski currently is a member of the Problem Solvers Caucus, which aims to bring Democrats and Republicans together for bipartisan solutions. Lipinski notably did not endorse President Barack Obama for reelection in 2012 and voted against the Affordable Care Act. 

This will mark the first time since the early 1980s that a member of the Lipinski family hasn’t been the 3rd District’s representative. Dan’s father, Bill, held the seat for more than 20 years before his son took over. 

Ben Leonard

Managing Editor 2018-19, 2019-2020 Features & Investigations Editor 

A member of the class of 2020 hailing from San Mateo, Calif., Ben is The Chronicle's Towerview Editor and Investigations Editor. Outside of the Chronicle, he is a public policy major working towards a journalism certificate, has interned at the Tampa Bay Times and NBC News and frequents Pitchforks. 


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