CHICAGO (CBS) — Jim Oberweis Friday posted a photo of himself at the Capitol for new member orientation, but he is not the projected winner of the race in Illinois’ 14th District.
He can be seen posing with another Republican, Mary Miller, who won the 15th Congressional District.
Incumbent Lauren Underwood is the projected winner. 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.
As the event only happens once, Oberweis was invited to attend, his campaign said. A spokesperson said Oberweis was urged to attend as the race is still contested with a looming recount. The spokesperson also added that Oberweis was not the only candidate who is involved in a contested race in attendance.
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.”
On Wednesday of last week, Oberweis declared victory.
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