Marie Newman said it was the "practicality" of her ideas which led Democratic primary voters in the Illinois 3rd Congressional District to choose her for the nomination in last month's election.
With the win, she unseated U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, who was first elected to Congress in 2004. Newman bested Lipinski by about three percentage points in the district, although she ran up a higher margin, nearly 17 points, among voters in Will County.
Newman has routinely argued Lipinski, one of the more conservative Democrats in Congress, was out of touch with his constituents in the 3rd District. She's pointed to his anti-abortion stance and vote against the Affordable Care Act years ago as just two main examples.
Newman has advocated for a Medicare for All, or a single payer health insurance system, which she argued was more practical, especially during a time with a global pandemic.
"People in (the district) are very savvy voters," she said. "They really know and understand what they want in government."
Lipinski attacked Medicare for All in his campaign literature as an "extreme healthcare scheme." But Newman pointed out Medicare, the government insurance system used by seniors, already exists and while not perfect, has worked well for over 50 years.
Newman added voters in the district were able to grasp the need for Medicare for All. She called Lipinski's attacks "laughable."
When Lipinski essentially conceded defeat after the election, he pointed to his anti-abortion views as the key issue which "loomed" over the campaign.
Newman will face Will County Board member Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen, in the general election in November. Fricilone said he hopes to attract swing voters whom he thinks won't vote for Newman due to her more progressive views.
But Newman said there were Republicans she knew who voted for her because of her policy proposals and her professional background and experience. She again praised voters for understanding public policy and simply wanting their elected officials to have the right answers on the big issues facing the nation.
"People are genuinely looking for good solutions that just work," Newman said.
She predicted Democrats across the board will be successful this November, especially after voters have seen how Republican President Donald Trump's administration has handled the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 3rd District includes parts of Crest Hill, Homer Glen, Lockport and Romeoville and stretches to the southwest side of Chicago.