Just nine months after being voted into office and replacing his father, Daniel Lipinski has announced that he will be running for reelection to represent the 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. The 3rd District covers a wide swath of Chicago’s South Side and southwest suburbs, including Forest Park South of the Eisenhower Expressway, all of Riverside and Brookfield and North Riverside east of the Des Plaines River.
Lipinski, a Democrat, made his bid for reelection official on Oct. 12. No other candidates, Democrat or Republican, have surfaced so far in opposition.
Lipinski rode to an easy victory in his first race to elective office in Nov. 2004, despite the fact that he was placed on the ballot just two months before the election.
For 22 years prior to the November 2004 election, his father, William O. Lipinski, represented the 3rd District. William Lipinski had gone so far as to win the Democratic primary earlier that year, setting up another easy win against a Republican opponent who never saw fit to campaign.
The elder Lipinski stepped down in August of 2004. With little time for opposition to organize, Daniel Lipinski walked away with nearly 70 percent of the vote. His only active opposition came from write-in candidate Krista Grimm, a LaGrange Park resident who was incensed at the way Daniel Lipinski made it on to the ballot. On election day, Grimm got a little over 5,000 votes.
After the 2004 election, Grimm said she might run against Lipinski in 2006. Attempts to reach her were unsuccessful.
Lipinski said that while he’s still new to the job, he feels that he has begun compiling a record of accomplishments, citing his participation in the U.S. House as a member of the Transportation Committee, which passed a mammoth Transportation Bill this summer.
“It’s been a little more than nine months, but I have a pretty good record of accomplishments, especially with the Transportation Bill bringing a lot of money to the district,” Lipinski said. “I’ve also held many town hall meetings to let everyone know I’m available to them.”
Prior to his election, Lipinski was a political science professor at the University of Tennessee. He did work as an aide on Capitol Hill, however, before that. He worked on the staff of Rod Blagojevich when the now-governor of Illinois was the representative for the 5th District.
Lipinski also won a fellowship from the American Political Science Association, which allowed him to work as an aide for Missouri Democrat Rep. Richard Gephardt.
“Certainly if I had gone from fresh out of teaching to this, it would have been a shocking experience,” Lipinski said. “But working on the Hill myself gave me an understanding of how things work. There are always things to learn, but that experience helped tremendously.”
Anyone seeking a place on the primary ballot in March 2006 must file nominating petitions between Dec. 12 and Dec. 19.