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Pro-life Democratic congressman — one of the few remaining — loses Democratic primary in Illinois to progressive

The party doesn't tolerate his beliefs anymore

Abortion rights activists from NARAL Pro-Choice America demonstrate outside of Illinois Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski's office in Washington, D.C. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

One of the few remaining pro-life Democrats in Congress lost his primary to a candidate backed by the progressive group Justice Democrats — the same organization that backed New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018, among others.

Who was it? Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), a member of the Blue Dog coalition in the House that consists of centrist Democrats, lost to Marie Newman, a progressive candidate who first ran unsuccessfully in 2018.

LIpinski was running for his ninth term in Congress, but with the loss becomes the first incumbent to lose a primary in 2020.

Newman was boosted this time around by stronger fundraising efforts and stronger support from abortion rights groups like EMILY's List, NARAL, and Planned Parenthood.

"We learned from the first race — there are things that I didn't do well, and I'm now doing well," Newman said, CNN reported.

Lipinski's voting record: It is increasingly difficult for Democrats who don't move further to the left on issues like abortion and health care to avoid primary challenges from more progressive candidates.

Lipinski regularly votes on the pro-life side of abortion proposals, and he voted against the Affordable Care Act. Justice Democrats, which backed Newman, is an organization that recruits and grooms far-left candidates to challenge incumbent lawmakers from the left.

Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas is another Blue Dog Democrat who faced a Justice Democrats challenge this year, but he defeated Jessica Cisneros in their primary contest.

"This is a critical victory for the progressive movement in showing that voters are ready for a new generation of progressive leadership in the Democratic Party," said Alexandra Rojas, executive director of Justice Democrats, according to The Hill. "This isn't just a loss for one incumbent. It's a defeat for machine politics and big corporate donors who want to stop our movement for Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and reproductive rights."

One last thing…
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