Newman campaign email mischaracterizes group backing rival Casten
A fundraising email from U.S. Rep. Marie Newman's campaign inaccurately describes the political alignment of a group backing her chief opponent in the Democratic primary for Illinois' 6th District seat, fellow U.S. Rep. Sean Casten.
The email, sent to potential voters Thursday night, alleged "major conservative super PACs have thrown their lot in with my opponent." It also said one such group is "spending heavily on the airwaves to bury our progressive message."
The email didn't identify the group. But Newman campaign manager Nick Uniejewski told the Daily Herald the group being called out is the Democratic Majority for Israel - a group that exclusively promotes the campaigns of Democratic candidates, including Casten and others from Illinois. It has produced an ad that targets Newman but doesn't mention Casten.
Casten campaign spokesman Jacob Vurpillat accused Newman of "intentionally misleading voters" with the fundraising email.
When asked about the inaccurate labeling of the Democratic Majority for Israel as conservative, Uniejewski said the group supports moderate and conservative Democrats. But the email didn't make that distinction.
Uniejewski also defined conservative groups or candidates as those standing "with large companies and corporate executives instead of regular working families in the district."
Casten has received financial support from political action committees representing corporations, cash Newman has eschewed. But Casten aligns with Newman on abortion rights, gun control, LGBTQ rights and other issues separating Democrats from Republicans.
Casten also has been endorsed by progressive lawmakers including U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California and U.S. Rep. Katie Porter of California, the deputy chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Newman is a vice chair of that group.
Moderate Democrats backing Casten over Newman include U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene of Washington, the chair of the New Democrat Coalition, and Brad Schneider of Highland Park, who - like Casten - is a member of that group.
Newman has no shortage of endorsements, either. Her backers include U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal of Washington - the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus - and fellow Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and André Carson of Indiana. Tlaib and Carson are part of the progressive caucus, too.
And while Casten is backed by the pro-Israel group, Newman has been endorsed by the IL Muslim Civic Coalition-Activate.
The 6th District includes much of the West and Southwest suburbs in Cook and DuPage counties. Newman now serves the 3rd district.
When the state's congressional districts were redrawn based on the 2020 census, Newman's home landed in the 4th District, but it's near the 6th.
Chicagoan Charles Hughes also is running for the Democratic nomination in the June 28 primary.
Six Republicans are running for the GOP nomination in the 6th.