The rematch is on.
Marie Newman announced April 16 that she is again challenging Congressman Dan Lipinski (D-3rd District) in a rematch of their close and hard fought contest in the 2018 Democratic primary.
But this time it won’t be just Lipinski and Newman battling it out in the primary. A day before Newman made the formal announcement on Twitter and Facebook of her widely expected second run for Congress, 32-year old Chicago attorney Abe Matthew announced that he too was running in the Democratic primary.
Last year Newman gave Lipinski the toughest battle of his political career. Newman got 49 percent of the vote in a costly race that drew national attention. She lost by just over 2,000 votes. The 3rd Congressional District stretches from the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, where Matthew lives, to near Joliet and includes the Lyons Township portion of Brookfield.
Lipinski is one of the most conservative Democratic members on Congress on social issues.
“We need a real Democrat; we don’t need a fake Democrat,” said Newman a 55-year-old LaGrange businesswoman. “And we need a real plan for the district.”
Newman said that she plans to emphasize everyday issues in this race. Much of the attention in last year’s race was focused on Lipinksi’s pro-life views on abortion and Newman’s pro-choice views and their differences on other social issues.
“I’m for Medicare for All, he is not,” Newman said. “He doesn’t seem to have any interest in bridging the income divide which gets bigger and bigger.”
Newman said that she is not especially worried about the presence of Matthew in the race denying her a one on one contest against Lipinski and perhaps dividing the anti-Lipinski vote.
“Lipinski’s numbers are so bad I’m actually not worried right now,” Newman said.
Matthew, a 32-year old personal injury lawyer who is a partner in a small law firm. He told the Landmark in a telephone interview that he is running to be an advocate for everyday people.
“I’m running for Congress to be an advocate for people,” Matthew said. “The current political leadership that we have in Washington does not advocate for the needs of families that are just struggling to get by.”
Matthew also said that he wants to be an advocate for immigrants and women.
“In the current political climate immigrants are regularly used as political pawns and the demonization of immigrants has to stop,” Matthew said. “We’re a country that is made up of immigrants from other lands and we need to recognize that that’s our history and we need to be welcoming of people who are coming here.”
Matthew said that he wants to push for mandated paid family leave for new parents. He said that he saw firsthand how hard it is for new mothers to maintain their careers after his wife, also a lawyer, gave birth to their two young sons, Atticus and Lincoln.
“We need to make it easier for women to return to their career after having a child,” Matthew said.
Matthew said that he has long been interested in politics and volunteered for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the 2018 Illinois presidential primary and went door to door for Hillary Clinton in Kenosha, Wisconsin in the fall of 2018.
Matthew said that he voted for Newman in the 2018 primary. When asked why he is running this time when it was clear that Newman was gearing up for another challenge to Lipinski Matthew said that he wanted to be more than just an anti-Lipinski candidate.
In 2018 Matthew contributed $400 to the attorney general campaign of Aaron Goldstein. Matthew grew up in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago and attended St. Sabina School and St. Ignatius College Prep before going to college at Marquette and law school at John Marshall Law School.
Lipinski, who was first elected to Congress in 2006, said that he plans to run for reelection and will be running on his record.
“I have been a commonsense Democratic leader who has brought people together to solve problems,” Lipinski said in an emailed statement. “Whether it has been helping grow good jobs, improving local transportation, protecting our health by protecting our environment, making health care and education more affordable, or making our communities safer, I have been a workhorse who has gotten the job done. Voters in the Third District have continued to send me to Washington to be an effective legislator, not to be an ineffective show horse. I’m grateful for their support and will continue to be their tireless advocate.”