A heated Democratic congressional primary race in suburban Chicago has reached a new low, as accusations of Holocaust denial are falsely hurled at progressive challenger Marie Newman.
Newman, who is seeking to unseat the incumbent Dan Lipinski as the Democratic candidate for Illinois’ 3rd congressional district, has staked a liberal position, hoping it would convince Democrats to chose her way over that of Lipinski, a “blue dog” Democrat known for his more conservative views.
In recent days, Newman claimed, voters have been receiving text messages from activists with the Washington-based No Labels group, trying to convince voters not to support her. In one instance, a voter receiving the text message informed the sender that he has already decided to vote for Newman, not Lipinski. “His opponent is a Holocaust denier among other things,” the Lipinski supporter texted back. In a second exchange, the voter was told again about Newman: “Did you know she’s a Holocaust denier.”
Newman accused Lipinski of “playing politics with a tragedy in human history that cost the lives of millions—and which deeply affects those of Jewish heritage, including my husband and his family.”
Lipinski is considered one of the few endangered Democratic incumbents in the nation due to the tight primary. The winner should easily beat a Republican challenger in the district that voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by a healthy 16% margin.
Holocaust Denial Smear Hits Tight Chicago Congress Race
Nathan Guttman, staff writer, was the Forward’s Washington bureau chief. He joined the staff in 2006 after serving for five years as Washington correspondent for the Israeli dailies Haaretz and The Jerusalem Post. In Israel, he was the features editor for Ha’aretz and chief editor of Channel 1 TV evening news. He was born in Canada and grew up in Israel. He is a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.