The question of whether the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will officially back Lipinski for reelection — he faces a stiff primary challenge from the left — has triggered an outbreak of ill will and finger-pointing from each wing of the party toward the other. With less than a month until the March 20 primary, tensions that have been brewing privately for weeks between the caucus’ centrist and progressive lawmakers are now spilling out into a messy public spat.
Caught in the middle are House Democratic leaders, who govern a caucus more aligned with Lipinski’s opponent, Marie Newman. But they are wary of appearing to kick one of their incumbents to the curb, aware of the potential long-term implications for party that is struggling to regain its standing with blue-collar voters.
“I don’t think what the DCCC does or says means a lot for my race as much as sending a signal to other Democrats who are looking to run,” Lipinski said in an interview.
“Democrats have to know that they’re going to have the full support [of the DCCC] even if they’re not straight in the party line,” he added. “And we need candidates who are not straight along the party line to win the districts we need for the majority.”
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