After more than 135 meet-and-greets, and talking with countless supporters and attending many events over the past year or so, Marie Newman said she is “feeling it.”
“It” would be her pulling off a major political surprise, beating incumbent U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinski, who has never lost an election, in the March 20 Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District.
“Holy cats, we are tied in the polls,” she said in a phone interview Sunday. That refutes a recent release from the Lipinski camp, which claims he leads Newman by more than 30 percent in the polls.
“That helps me because there are probably three or four outside pollsters who have us tied. And my field tracking poll has us in a dead heat,” Newman, 53, said.
On the campaign trail, she’s heard from residents who “are very fed up.”
“He’s done nothing for working families. He’s indicated he’s brought more than $300 million (in federal funds) to the district, but, in reality, he prettied up a train stop in my town (La Grange) that didn’t need to be prettied up. That was $700,000.
“He’s bought fire engines for seven communities that didn’t need new fire engines, so that was millions of dollars in waste. He likes doing what he calls transportation projects for his crony friends. This is how a machine politician operates,” Newman said.
Newman calls herself “a true Democrat” and considers Lipinski more of a Republican disguised as a Democrat. “He’s in alignment on many things with (President) Trump, so that does make sense. He is completely out of step with the district,” she said.
Newman said she’d do more for immigrants, fight for affordable health care for all, defend Planned Parenthood and a woman’s right to have an abortion, legalize marijuana, and support gay marriage along with gay rights issues.
“Fifty-two times he’s voted to take away a woman’s right to choose. Most recently, he voted for the abortion ban, which he calls the born alive act. To be clear, the act is an act that would take away abortions after 20 weeks. Less than one percent of all abortions happen after 20 weeks, and it’s always for medical reasons. This is ridiculous legislation we don’t need. It’s the law of the land and he wants to overturn Roe vs. Wade,” Newman said.
She criticized Lipinski for what she says is not supporting Planned Parenthood.
The campaign, she said, is comparable to pushing a boulder uphill. “I’m pushing against the Lipinski monarchy of 36 years and the Chicago machine of 100 years. It’s not a rosy day every day, but it’s very much in my favor. The reason is I’m in alignment with most people in the district, and he’s out of step,” Newman said.
If elected, her priority is “hard work, really hard work on getting health care for all through, $15 per-hour pay, paid leave and affordable child care.”
She’s not in, as Lipinski has charged, “the Tea Party of the Left.”
“There’s just true-blue Democrats. He’s not a centrist. He is a far right Republican and the district is true-blue Democratic,” she added. “We appreciate his service, but he needs to move on. He hasn’t done anything for this district in 13 years and rides on the coattails of his dad, and he lies.”