CHICAGO (CBS) — Incumbent U.S. Rep. Sean Casten won Re-Election over GOP candidate Jeanne Ives and Libertarian candidate Bill Redpath in the 6th Congressional District.
As of Wednesday at 4 a.m., Casten had over 51% of the vote compared with over 46% for Ives and nearly 2% for Redpath.
Former Illinois State Rep. Jeanne Ives, of Wheaton, took on Casten in the 6th Congressional District – a vast district that includes large parts of DuPage and Kane counties and also extends north to include southwest Lake and southeast McHenry counties.
Casten declared victory Wednesday morning.
“Tonight, the voters of the 6th District sent a resounding message. They voted for science and facts. They voted for decency, acceptance, and love, and rejected bigotry and racism. They said that they believe we should all have high-quality, affordable health care. They acknowledged the climate crisis and decided we must do something about it,” he said in a statement. “To the voters — you have given me a tremendous amount of responsibility, and I can only hope to live up to your expectations. Over the next two years, you can expect more town halls and accessibility from my office. In Congress, I will continue to advocate for our District on COVID relief, health care, combating climate change and job creation.”
Ives conceded later Wednesday morning.
“My team fought hard, but in the end the power of the opposition was too great. It is somewhat unclear to me what lies ahead for Illinoisans,” she said in a statement. “The foundation of the Republican Party has been freedom, smart government and equality under the law. My campaign believed in those principles and fought hard for them. We did not run from this struggle.”
Ives also hailed the apparent defeat of a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for a graduated income tax in Illinois, and lamented the governor’s orders requiring restaurants and bars across Illinois to halt indoor service amid growing COVID-19 rates.
“The pain of our defeat is far, far less than the pain of the restaurant owners I’ve met who have been forced to watch a lifetime of work and investment be destroyed by a handful of bureaucrats. Or the parents I talked to whose children are suffering after being shut out of the schools and the activities they love. Or the friends who have packed up their families – and moved away from Illinois and all its dysfunction, because it just didn’t make sense anymore,” Ives said.
Casten beat incumbent Peter Roskam two years ago in the 6th Congressional District, which had been represented by a Republican since 1973.
Ives, a three-term state representative who left office in 2019, was one of the most conservative members of the Illinois General Assembly. Two years ago, Ives nearly defeated incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner in the Republican primary.
In campaigning for reelection, Casten’s campaign touts his background as a “respected scientist” and clean energy entrepreneur.
“Washington isn’t working for our families for a simple reason: Facts are taking a back seat to politics when informing policy. That’s just wrong. Sean knows that facts matter, and ignoring facts is a sure way to hurt people. His facts-first approach to every issue is informed by data, expert input, and the reality we face,” the Casten campaign website reads.
Health care, the right to vote, racial justice, women’s rights and opportunity, LGBTQ rights, gun safety, immigration reform, and energy and climate change policy are among the issues on which Casten’s campaign has focused.
A CBS 2 analysis found that the Casten campaign had about $2 million in cash on hand as of late October. A huge portion of that comes from the progressive online fundraising site ActBlue, which has contributed more than $1.8 million. The rest of his top contributors are all Democratic political action committees.
Casten’s campaign has spent about $3.2 million since 2019. The single biggest recipient of Casten campaign funds is the Democratic digital strategy firm Break Something.
Meanwhile, Ives – in responses to policy questions asked by the Chicago Tribune that she reproduced on her website, wrote that the highest priority is “to restore the rule of law throughout the nation and Illinois.” She focused both on civil unrest that has transpired this year and political corruption.
“The last few months have been unsettling for Americans as we have watched as lawlessness spread across the nation. Looters and rioters destroyed property, illegally occupied and controlled public grounds, upended livelihoods, and unnerved many who no longer feel safe in their own communities,” Ives wrote. “In Illinois, lawlessness extends from our most powerful politicians, their special interest friends, and the lobbyists who grease the skids between the two, to the streets of Chicago overrun with murder, looting and criminal damage to property, to the suburbs where armed home invasions and carjacking have happened.”
Ives also wrote that “the Chinese Communist Party poses the biggest threat to our nation and the world” and called for “a full investigation into the origins and spread of the COVID 19 virus, repayment for costs related to the crisis, and no-notice international inspections of their biological research laboratories.”
Ives’ campaign has far less cash on hand than Casten’s – only about $227,081. Her top funding source, similarly to Casten, is WinRed — the GOP’s answer to ActBlue.
Her campaign has spent about $2.8 million since 2016. Axiom Strategies, which seems to focus on Republican legislative races, has received the largest share of that money.
Two conservative Republican candidates were neck-and-neck with the Democratic incumbents late Tuesday in two suburban congressional districts that have traditionally gone the GOP’s way.
Two other Illinois congressional races had also yet to be called as of 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Incumbent Rep. Brad Schneider, representing the north and northwest suburban 10th Congressional District, won re-election against Republican opponent Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee.
As of 3:40 a.m. Wednesday, Schneider had over 60% of the vote.
Schneider declared victory Tuesday night.
“Today’s resounding victory is the first step of OUR nation renewing itself. Tonight, Il-10 voters demonstrated that we desperately want leadership who will unify the Country to beat back the Coronavirus, rebuild our economy, and renew our nation. Tomorrow, we will begin mending the fissures of our divided nation, and we will work together as Americans to govern and move our entire country forward again — Republicans and Democrats. To all those who voted, thank you for exercising your first democratic right. And thank you for collectively believing in me; I will do everything in my power to work for all of the Tenth District— Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between.” he said in a statement.
In the 17th Congressional District, which runs through western Illinois from Rockford to Peoria, Democratic incumbent Rep. Cheri Bustos was up 52 percent to Republican Esther Joy King with 48 percent. More than 99 percent of the precincts were reporting, but no call had been made.