Matthew withdraws from 3rd Congressional race, endorses Newman

Matthew withdraws from 3rd Congressional race, endorses Newman
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Matthew withdraws from 3rd Congressional race, endorses Newman

By Ray Hanania

Abe Matthew will announce today that he will withdraw from the 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary race and endorse Marie Newman, pressure is mounting on another candidate to withdraw, Rush Darwish.

Matthew will hold a press conference with Newman this morning (Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019) at 11:30 AM and formally withdraw and endorse Newman, who came within 2,000 votes of defeating Democratic incumbent Congressman Dan Lipinski two years ago in March 2018.

Although Darwish is attracting a considerable sum of money mainly from the district’s Arab American and Muslim community, pundits and veteran political analysts believe that Darwish’s only contributions will be to drain votes from Newman.

Abe Matthew, candidate for Congress int he 3rd District

Abe Matthew, candidate for Congress int he 3rd District

Despite having made a strong showing against Lipinski in the Democratic Primary in March 2018, the Lipinski organization which includes some of the strongest wards in Chicago, is taking this second challenge from Newman far more seriously than they did in 2018. Even if Darwish were to withdraw, insiders still consider Lipinski the lead candidate.

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Lipinski has never been popular with the news media or political pundits and clearly his voter organization which is based in Chicago’s ward organizations will be taking this election far more seriously than they did when challenged by Newman in 2018.

Darwish has come under vicious assault from Newman supporters including at the Chicago Sun-Times, which published a scathing attack that essentially accused Darwish, wrongly, of anti-Semitism. The newspaper’s political column even raised references to the neo-Nazi who ran as a Republican in the November 2018 General Election losing handily to Lipinski.

Ironically, although Lipinski won that re-election defeating Holocaust denier and neo-Nazi activist Art Jones, Jones managed to still win 56,000 votes out of 212,000 total votes cast. That 56,000 people would vote to support a Nazi of any shade is incredulous and a disgrace to the district.

Newman represents a more liberal aspect of the Democratic organization, while Rush’s appeal is limited to his lack of name recognition and to the large generally divided and dysfunctional Arab American community in the 3rd district. In fact, the 3rd District has one of the largest concentrations of Palestinian American voters in the country, although the Arab community is very divided.

Many Christian Arabs supported Lipinski in 2018 mainly because of his conservative family values while activists supported Newman. Newman, though is not taking the Arab community for granted and has addressed issues of concern to Arab Americans that Lipinski has often shied away from. Lipinski has also receive money from PACs associated with AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee which has donated hundreds of millions through PAC affiliates to so many members of the U.S. Congress that the Congress is incapable of putting America’s interest above Israel’s interests.

Lipinski represents a conservative side of the Democratic Party, often described as “Reagan Democrats,” or Democrats who voted for and supported the popular U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The 3rd District traditionally votes “Right of Center,” or more conservative than other Democratic districts.

Newman has won endorsements from many leading leftist Democrats including Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, New York Congresswoman Kirsten Gillibrand, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, also a leading candidate for president, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, and State Rep. Lisa Hernandez. Click here to view the entire list of endorsements.

Matthew’s withdrawal from the race reflects a professionalism that will help him later if he pursues other election interests as he is expected to do. Staying int he race would have undermined any political future for him. The same dilemma faces Darwish, who will become the target of even worse criticism as the district gets closer to the election.

Here is the press release from the Newman campaign on the Matthew endorsement today:

Abe Matthew to Endorse Marie Newman for Congress in Illinois Third District

(Chicago, IL) At a joint press conference scheduled for 11:30am Tuesday, November 12th, Abe Matthew, a Bridgeport Attorney and candidate for Congress in Illinois Third District, will announce that he will be ending his bid for office and endorsing Marie Newman for the Democratic nomination in March.

Abe Matthew lives in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood with his wife Shannon. When the couple recently welcomed two sons into this world, it became clear to Abe that the only way they would grow up to the future he dreamed of is if we start fighting for it now. Abe will continue fighting for a better future for his family and his community by working to elect Marie Newman, a real Democrat with a real plan, to Congress in March.

“I entered this race because there is a hunger in our nation for leadership on the issues of pressing concern for our people. The mothers and fathers of our district struggle to put food on the table. We mourn the loss of our daughters and sons to gun violence. Our sisters and brothers fall ill, yet we watch them suffer because they cannot afford the cures” said Abe Matthew. “I am endorsing Marie Newman because I trust her to fight for the mothers and fathers who are struggling to get by. I trust her to work to stem the tide of gun violence afflicting our sons and daughters. I trust her to fight for universal health care so our sisters and brothers can get the care they need. Marie will be our advocate in Congress.”

“We have a golden opportunity to make a change in our community this March. An opportunity to elect someone to Congress who will truly be an advocate for workers and working families. I am so honored to have the endorsement of Abe Matthew, and I know that with his help, we can make that change a reality,” said Marie Newman.

  • WHAT: Joint Press Conference
  • WHERE: Bridgeport Arts Center, 1200 W 35th St, Chicago, IL 60609 (Courtyard on Racine) 
  • WHEN: Tuesday, November 12th, 11:30am CST

Statement from Abe Matthew:

Abe Matthew (D-Ill.), candidate for Congress in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District (D-Lipinski), issued the following statement announcing he will withdraw from the race for Congress in IL-3:

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Over the last seven months, we have had the privilege of traveling across Illinois’ 3rd Congressional district and asking people how Washington can help improve their lives. I take these stories with me, and I am forever grateful and humbled by those who opened their hearts and shared their struggles with me. To those who opened their hearts and shared their struggles and experiences with me, I am forever grateful and humbled by you. 

We entered this race because there is a hunger in our nation for leadership on the issues of pressing concern for our people. The mothers and fathers of our district struggle to put food on the table. We mourn the loss of our daughters and sons to gun violence.  Our sisters and brothers fall ill, yet we watch them suffer because they cannot afford the cures. 

To the people of the 3rd District, my friends and neighbors, I will never stop fighting for you all. I will not stop fighting for you. 

Those who know me best know I am a much better advocate for others than I am for myself. In recognition of this and after consultation with my family, I withdraw my name for consideration for Congress in Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District.

Our team has been absolutely amazing: I cannot overstate how grateful I am for your help in this endeavor. My wife Shannon and our two boys have been amazing partners on this journey. Our Chairwoman, Kalpana Sabapathy, has led a passionate grassroots campaign that relied almost exclusively on volunteers to get things done. Our committee members have been worth their weight in gold, taking on roles that normally would require the expenditure of large sums of campaign funds. The generosity of everyone who donated to the campaign has been overwhelming. To all of you who helped us fight the good fight I say THANK YOU and I will never forget.

I am grateful for each of my opponents in this race. I have enjoyed our lively discussion of the issues facing our nation and the spirited efforts we have all made to make our case to the people. I wish each of the candidates luck in their future endeavors and trust the people of the district will make an informed decision on Election Day.

When we enter the voting booth on March 17, 2020, the people of the 3rd District will be faced with a choice: Who should they trust to be their advocate in Congress?

I will trust Marie Newman.

I am endorsing Marie Newman because I trust her to fight for the mothers and fathers who are struggling to get by. I trust her to work to stem the tide of gun violence afflicting our sons and daughters. I trust her to fight for universal health care so our sisters and brothers can get the care they need. Marie will be our advocate in Congress. 

On March 17, 2020, I will trust Marie Newman with my vote and I urge you to do so too.

****

For more information about Abe Matthew and his campaign, please visit abematthew.com or call 773-732-2842. For all other media inquiries, please contact George Bliss at press@abematthew.com. His twitter handle is @abematthew

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award-winning columnist, author & former Chicago City Hall reporter (1977-1992). A veteran who served during the Vietnam War and the recipient of four SPJ Peter Lisagor Awards for column writing, Hanania writes weekly opinion columns on mainstream American & Chicagoland topics for the Southwest News-Herald, Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News, The Reporter Newspapers, and Suburban Chicagoland.  

Hanania also writes about Middle East issues for the Arab News, and The Arab Daily News criticizing government policies in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

A critic of mainstream news media bias, Hanania advocates for peace & justice for Israel & Palestine, & the empowerment of Arabs in America. 

Click here to listen to Ray's Political Podcast. 

Hanania's columns are archived on his personal website at RayHanania.com. Hanania was named "Best Ethnic American Columnist" by the New America Media in November 2007, and is the 2009 recipient of the SPJ National Sigma Delta Chi Award for column writing.

Email Ray Hanania at rghanania@gmail.com.
Ray Hanania

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