Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will endorse primary challenger to conservative Illinois Democrat: report

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) will issue her first endorsement of the 2020 cycle to a primary challenger against a sitting member of Congress.


Ocasio-Cortez, who has rapidly achieved icon status in the progressive movement since winning a long-shot primary challenge of her own against the fourth-ranking House Democrat in 2018, will back Marie Newman against Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL).

Lipinski, a member of the bipartisan "Problem Solvers Caucus" who first took over his suburban Chicago congressional seat from his father in 2004, has long been a thorn in the side of progressive activists. He is one of the only Democrats to have voted against the Affordable Care Act, and has been a consistent opponent of abortion rights.

But unlike many other conservative and moderate Democrats, Lipinski does not represent a particularly competitive seat that forces him to triangulate his views. Indeed, Republicans have such a weak bench in Illinois' 3rd District that they recently nominated the former president of the American Nazi Party for the seat. Some observers have thus argued that Lipinski is out of step with the values of voters in this safe blue seat — and that he should be replaced.

Newman, a local nonprofit founder, previously challenged Lipinski for the Democratic nomination in 2018. Lipinski beat her back, but only by a razor-thin margin of 51.1 to 48.9, a result that encouraged her to seek a do-over in 2020.