Illinois will hold primary elections on Tuesday. The state has a few compelling House races that will help to determine control of the chamber in November. Neither of the Democratic senators from Illinois face re-election this year.
One primary battle Tuesday holds immediate stakes for the soul of the Democratic Party. Moderate Democratic Rep. Daniel Lipinski faces a primary challenge in the suburban Chicago 3rd District, which he has represented since 2005.
Marketing executive Marie Newman has cast herself as a more progressive option than Lipinski, who co-chairs the Blue Dog Coalition of House Democrats, who portray themselves as moderates. Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York have both backed Newman. Sanders and Gillibrand are often mentioned as potential Democratic candidates for president in 2020.
Newman has attacked the incumbent Lipinski for opposing abortion rights and not taking a strong enough stance to support LGBTQ rights. House Democrats' campaign arm, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has not outwardly endorsed Lipinski.
Arthur Jones is running unopposed on the Republican side of the race. He is a Holocaust denier whom the state's Republican Party has disavowed.
At least two Republican-held House seats in the state are on Democrats' radar as the party tries to flip the 24 districts needed to take a majority in the chamber. Illinois' 12th District, represented by Republican Rep. Mike Bost, is a high priority for House Democrats' campaign arm.
Bost will likely win a primary challenge Tuesday from 27-year-old Libertarian candidate Preston Nelson. On the Democratic side, the DCCC has endorsed Brendan Kelly, a prosecutor in the state's St. Clair County and a U.S. Navy veteran.
Bost has represented the district in the southwest corner of Illinois since 2015. Democrats see a pickup opportunity because former President Barack Obama won the area twice before President Donald Trump carried it in 2016.
Elections analysis websites Cook Political Report and Sabato's Crystal Ball both rate it as a "toss-up."
A crowded field of Democrats is vying to determine who will take on Republican Rep. Peter Roskam in Illinois' 6th District, which sits in Chicago's suburbs. Among the candidates is attorney Amanda Howland, who won the 2016 Democratic primary but lost to Roskam by nearly 20 percentage points.
Candidates Sean Casten and Kelly Mazeski, both scientists, lead the fundraising race on the Democratic side.
The Cook Political Report rates Roskam's seat as a "toss-up," while Sabato's Crystal Ball says it "leans Republican."