The Democratic National Committee is apparently refusing to endorse one of its more conservative members, Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski, Politico reported.
Lipinski, a seven-term congressman, is considered one of the most conservative members of the House Democratic Caucus. He opposes abortion, and has voted against Obamacare, marriage equality and immigration reform.
Questions over whether the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee would endorse Lipinksi have led to bad feelings and finger pointing as the March 20 primary election approaches, Politico reported. House Democrats govern a caucus that is more aligned with Marie Newman, Lipinski’s opponent. Yet the Democrats are also weighing if it’s wise to distance an incumbent.
Newman and her supporters have said Lipinski is out of touch with Democrats in his Chicago district, a working-class area on the city's southwest side. The district and surrounding suburbs are about one-third Hispanic.
What has Lipinski said?
Lipinski told Politico he doesn’t believe the endorsement will matter much, either way.
“I don’t think what the DCCC does or says means a lot for my race as much as sending a signal to other Democrats who are looking to run,” Lipinski said in an interview.
“Democrats have to know that they’re going to have the full support [of the DCCC] even if they’re not straight in the party line,” he added. “And we need candidates who are not straight along the party line to win the districts we need for the majority.”
Lipinski is one of three co-chairmen of the so-called Blue Dogs. The coalition has been trying to rebuild since Republicans won most of the House in 2010 and wiped out many of the group's members, Politico reported.
Will the Democratic Party accept pro-life liberals?
Earlier this month, MSNBC host Kasie Hunt asked Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, if there is room for anti-abortion Democrats in the party. Lipinski has faced criticism from fellow Democrats because of his stance on abortion, TheBlaze previously reported.
Perez dodged the question, but said he wants to avoid the appearance of “trying to put the thumb on the scale.”
“That’s one of those races where we will see what happens,” he said.