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Election

Lipinski says his abortion views 'loomed' over primary race

Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, speaks with the Herald-News on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.
Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, speaks with the Herald-News on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski essentially conceded the primary election to businesswoman Marie Newman on Wednesday after she came out ahead Tuesday night.

Lipinski, D-Western Springs, said it "appears" Newman will have the votes to be the next Democratic nominee to represent the 3rd Illinois Congressional District. The congressman said he likely lost because of his anti-abortion stance.

"There was one issue that loomed especially large in this campaign: the fact that I am pro-life," Lipinski said at a news conference Wednesday. "I was pilloried in millions of dollars of TV ads and mailers because of this."

He said that his colleagues and members of his own party "shunned" him and that the pressure within the Democratic party to support reproductive rights has never been greater.

"Over the years I have watched many other politicians succumb to pressure and change their position on this issue," Lipinski said.

The congressman added he didn't want to speculate what his apparent defeat said about the Democratic electorate in his district, especially in a time of intense polarization.

"I think a lot of people don’t understand that someone can be pro-life and a Democrat and how that goes together," he said.

After narrowly winning reelection over Newman in 2018, Lipinski drew a few other challengers to his seat this year.

Newman earned a little over 47% of the vote as of Thursday. Lipinski won about 44% of the vote. Rush Darwish had about 5% of the vote and Charles Hughes earned about 2%.

In Will County, Newman earned an even larger share of the vote with about 54% to Lipinski's 37%. The 3rd Congressional District includes parts of Crest Hill, Homer Glen, Lemont, Lockport and Romeoville and extends to the southwest side of Chicago.

Lipinski was first elected to the seat in 2004. Before that, the congressman's father, Bill Lipinski, had represented the district since the early 1980s.

Newman will likely face Republican Will County Board member Mike Fricilone in the general election.

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