CHICAGO (CBS/AP) — Democrat Lauren Underwood has won reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives in Illinois’ 14th District, though her Republican opponent, Jim Oberweis, said the race is not over.

The Associated Press called the race Thursday afternoon. Underwood had been in a tight race with Oberweis. The AP said with all precincts reporting, Underwood had 200,638 votes, or 50.58 percent, compared with 196,034, or 49.42 percent, for Oberweis. The difference is 4,604.

Underwood released the following statement:

“I am honored to be reelected to represent Illinois’ beautiful 14th District in Congress. This was a tough race under some very difficult circumstances, and I want to say thank you to my supporters, the voters, and our elections officials for their diligent work.

“We face urgent challenges as a community and a country. I remain focused on getting results: protecting our families, ensuring a robust economic recovery, and lowering the cost of health care. Whether you voted for me or not, I pledge to represent every member of this community. That’s my responsibility, and I take it seriously. It’s a privilege to bring northern Illinois voices and values to Washington and I can’t wait to build upon all that we’ve accomplished, together.”

But Oberweis disputed the declaration that Underwood had won and said the race was not over:

“The Associated Press calling the race in the 14th Congressional District for Lauren Underwood does not change anything in this race from a legal standpoint. Illinois election law has provisions to allow parties in a closely contested race to seek a recount to ensure that all legal votes are counted and to ensure that the final outcome is the right outcome. There are still votes that have yet to be counted. The totals at this point are unofficial totals as the race has yet to be certified. We are committed to exploring all of the legal options at our disposal and will pursue these options that are afforded our campaign under law.”

 

Underwood told CBS 2 she is not sweating it.

“I’m confident that the results will not change in this race,” she said.

The district is located west of the immediate Chicago area and includes parts of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall, DuPage, and Will counties from the southern boundary of Kendall County north to the Wisconsin state line.

It is a mix of suburban subdivisions and farms.

On Wednesday of last week, Oberweis declared victory.

“Today, after contacting every County Clerk across the 14th District, I am pleased to say that, with only a handful of outstanding ballots, it appears that I have won a tough fought campaign against Lauren Underwood,” Oberweis said Wednesday. “This race has been an uphill battle to say the least. Lauren Underwood has enjoyed a tremendous financial advantage having outspent me 4-1. But despite all of the money she spent, we prevailed.”

But Underwood was quick to say Oberweis’ declaration was premature and inappropriate.

“Jim Oberweis doesn’t get to call this election: the voters do. There are thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We appreciate every voter who made their voice heard, and our county clerks and election officials must count every ballot in as expeditious and transparent a manner as is possible,” Underwood’s campaign said. “Based on publicly available data, we remain confident that once ballots are counted, this race will reflect that the voters have reelected Congresswoman Lauren Underwood.”

Underwood defeated incumbent Randy Hultgren in the 14th District in 2018, taking away a seat that had been held by the GOP for all but three years since 1939.

Oberweis has been a state senator since 2013, and has mounted failed bids for the U.S. Senate in 2002, 2004, and 2014; for governor in 2006, and for Congress in 2008.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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