AOC endorses first 2020 primary challenger, Marie Newman

Marie Newman is challenging one of the most conservative Democrats in the House, Dan Lipinski

On Tuesday morning, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announced her endorsement of Justice Democrat Marie Newman in her primary challenge against Congressman Dan Lipinski of Illinois’ 3rd congressional district.

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“Marie Newman is a textbook example of one of the ways that we could be better as a party — to come from a deep blue seat and to be championing all the issues we need to be championing,” said Ocasio-Cortez in The New York Times. “The fact that a deep blue seat is advocating for many parts of the Republican agenda is extremely problematic. We’re not talking about a swing state that is being forced to take tough votes."

"I am thrilled to receive the endorsement of Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” said Marie Newman. "Her unwavering dedication to fighting for social, climate and economic justice is a true inspiration. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and other Progressive Caucus members in Congress to fight for policies that make life safer and more affordable for people in my District."

“We are so proud that Marie Newman is the first Justice Democrat of this cycle to receive an endorsement from Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” said Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats. “The momentum is growing in our movement to make the Democratic Party fight for solutions as big as the problems we face and create a party of voters, not corporate donors.”

Marie Newman vs Lipinski

Newman’s campaign has already confronted the DCCC’s “blacklist” policy against primary challengers to incumbent Democrats.

"I've had four consultants leave the campaign,” Newman told POLITICO in April. “We've now had two mail firms say that they couldn't work with us because of the DCCC issue, and then a [communications] group, a compliance group and several pollsters.”

Lipinski is one of the most conservative members of the Democratic Party in Congress. He voted against the Affordable Care Act, initially voted against the DREAM Act, and opposed a $15 minimum wage, same-sex marriage, Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal. Lipinski also co-chaired the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus and was the only Democratic member of Congress who spoke at the 2019 March for Life. The National Right to Life Committee rates him as “75% pro-life."

Marie Newman supports Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, and reproductive and immigrant rights. She was endorsed by Justice Democrats in her first run in 2018 where she lost by just over 2000 votes.

Justice Democrats is a grassroots, small-dollar funded progressive organization founded by former staff of the Bernie Sanders 2016 presidential campaign.