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Dem Caucus Will Support Pro-Life Incumbent After Primary Win vs. Progressive

WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus said today that their colleague, Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.), will receive their support after fending off a primary challenge from a progressive candidate favored by many in the caucus.

Lipinski, a co-chairman of the House Pro-Life Caucus, defeated challenger Marie Newman, a businesswoman whose campaign endorsements included Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Luis Guitierrez (D-Ill.), by 51.2 percent to 48.8 percent.

Lipinski will face off in November against Republican Arthur Jones, a Nazi and Holocaust denier who ran uncontested because the GOP didn't want to expend the campaign resources in a solidly blue district.

"He's the Democratic nominee, and he'll have the support of the Democratic Caucus," caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) told reporters on Capitol Hill.

"And if you know anything about his Republican opponent for the general election, you know that Democrats will be united behind Dan Lipinski," added Vice Chairwoman Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.). "You know, somebody ...who has identified with extreme far-right Nazi propaganda is not somebody that we want serving in the United States House of Representatives."

Added Crowley: "I think suggesting -- more interesting, maybe, there were a number of interesting races that took place yesterday. So I think it bodes well for Democrats, running -- moving into these 2018 elections."

Also in the Illinois primary Tuesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) fended off a primary challenge from the right, defeating Jeanne Ives 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent. Billionaire J.B. Pritzker won the Democratic nomination in a three-way race.

Conor Lamb (D), who won the Pennsylvania special congressional election this month, was welcomed by the caucus on Capitol Hill today "and there was tremendous excitement expressed by the membership for Mr. Lamb and his election to the House," Crowley said.

"I think the message we get from certainly the Lamb election is that all politics is local, as Tip O'Neill said... And what Conor Lamb proved is that keeping the issues local, talking about Social Security and Medicare and the threat that they're under by this Republican administration and by the Republican Congress, talking about issues that are local to the community themselves and the passion that he brought in representing them, I think speaks volumes to -- and not just these two elections, but other elections as well," Crowley continued.

"And for all of us, I've been counseling people who are running that, remember to keep it local. People really identify with the local legislator. And I think that's what certainly Conor Lamb and I have suggested, maybe that's what happened in Illinois 3 as well," he added. "But the people have decided and we're -- we're moving forward. And we're a big tent party, and I think that's also represented by those elections, as well."