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Local News

Republican Fricilone looks to attract swing voters in Congressional race

Will County Board members Steve Balich (left) and Mike Fricilone (right) field questions from local residents on Sept. 30 at Coom's Corner in Lockport.
Will County Board members Steve Balich (left) and Mike Fricilone (right) field questions from local residents on Sept. 30 at Coom's Corner in Lockport.

Mike Fricilone won the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District with ease earlier this month and now faces Marie Newman in the general election.

Newman unseated incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, in the Democratic primary.

Fricilone appears to sense an opportunity to siphon off some swing voters who might be turned off by what he called a “socialist progressive” agenda. He said that Republican voters also will have a legitimate “mainstream” choice this time around instead of the party’s 2018 nominee, Arthur Jones, who is a self-identified Holocaust denier and former member of the American Nazi Party.

“There have been Republicans that have crossed over in the past that voted for Dan [Lipinski],” Fricilone said. “I don’t think that will be the case this time. I don’t see how any Republicans are going to vote for Marie Newman.”

He cited Newman’s endorsements from progressive members of Congress such as Sen. Bernie Sanders as evidence her politics may be too far to the left for some voters in the 3rd District.

Still, Newman has the advantage of running in a strongly Democratic district. When Lipinski was running, even during years he wasn’t facing a Holocaust denier, he’d win by upward of 30 percentage points.

Fricilone has served on the Will County Board since 2012 and became the Republican minority leader in 2018.

The 3rd Congressional District includes parts of Lemont, Crest Hill, Homer Glen, Lockport and Romeoville and extends to the southwest side of Chicago.

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