A good night for U.S. House incumbents as Casten, Foster, Garcia cruise to primary victories

It was a good night to be a Democratic congressman seeking reelection in the Northwest and West suburbs.

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove was cruising to victory in the Democratic primary for his 6th District seat Tuesday, so much so that The Associated Press called the race less than an hour after polls closed.

Likewise, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville appeared headed to the winner’s circle in the 11th District’s Democratic showdown. U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia of Chicago will defeat his challenger in the 4th District, too, The Associated Press predicted.

6th District

With an estimated 75% of ballots in his race counted, Casten, who’s seeking a fourth term, had a commanding lead in his three-way race Tuesday night.

Casten had notched 53,504 votes — about 77% of the total, unofficial results showed. Health care advocate Mahnoor Ahmad of Oakbrook Terrace was running second with 9,710 votes, while Chicagoan Charles Hughes was third with 6,171 votes.

Casten declared victory and thanked voters, volunteers and his family.

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten Courtesy of Casten for Congress

“More than anything else, thank you to all who participated in this election,” Casten said. “You are the reason the American experiment works.”

Casten has been a prominent advocate on Capitol Hill in the fight against global climate change and the fights for gun control, abortion rights and other progressive-driven issues. But Ahmad came at Casten from the left, criticizing Israel’s actions during the ongoing war in Gaza as “genocidal” and calling for a single, government-run health care system, something Casten opposes.

Casten will face Republican Niki Conforti of Glen Ellyn in the Nov. 5 general election.

11th District

Foster jumped to an early lead over challenger Qasim Rashid in the 11th District’s Democratic primary and never had to look back.

With an estimated 84% of ballots counted, Foster was ahead 33,295 votes to 9,971 votes, unofficial results showed. That gave Foster about 77% of the total votes.

  11th District U.S. Rep. Bill Foster thanks poll workers Tuesday morning at the Naperville Municipal Center. Foster appeared headed to victory in his primary contest Tuesday night, unofficial results showed. Brian Hill/

Rashid, also of Naperville, attacked Foster’s stances or votes on health care, the war in Gaza, campaign financing and other national and international issues. A Rashid ad also mischaracterized why Foster left a candidate forum early, something Foster alluded to in his victory statement.

“I am grateful to everyone who supported this campaign and reaffirmed that character, integrity, and honesty matter in our district,” Foster said.

Looking ahead to November, Foster was projected Tuesday night to face Republican music-school owner Jerry Evans in the general election. Evans, of Warrenville, won a three-way primary, The Associated Press predicted.

  Jerry Evans and his wife, Lisa, at his election watch party at Global Brew Tap House in St. Charles on Tuesday night, March 19, 2024. Evans was leading early in the race for the Republican nomination in the 11th Congressional District. John Starks/

With about 84% of ballots counted, Evans had 17,381 votes, or nearly 51% of the total, unofficial results showed. He was followed by Geneva’s Susan Hathaway Altman, who had 12,705 votes, and Bartlett’s Kent Mercado, who had 4,168 votes.

4th District

Garcia fended off a challenge from Chicago Alderman Raymond Lopez in the 4th District’s Democratic primary.

With about 59% of ballots counted, Garcia was ahead 28,015 votes to 12,571 votes, unofficial results showed.

U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia AP File Photo

Garcia is seeking a fourth term in Congress.

An Election Day controversy erupted when Garcia’s campaign filed a complaint against Lopez for giving out coffee, doughnuts and envelopes with $50 to election judges in the 15th Ward.

Lopez said as the ward’s Democratic committeeman, it’s customary to provide judges who work a 13-hour day with breakfast and lunch.

The Illinois attorney general’s office confirmed to ABC 7 it is looking into Garcia’s complaint.

The 4th District stretches from Chicago’s Southwest Side — where both candidates live — to parts of suburban Cook and DuPage counties. No Republican was on the primary ballot.

14th District

Elsewhere, Oswego’s James Marter was predicted as the winner of the Republican primary for Illinois’ 14th Congressional District seat over Aurora’s Charlie Kim.

With an estimated 84% of ballots counted, Marter was ahead 22,473 votes to 6,020 votes, unofficial results showed. The 14th District encompasses parts of Kane, Will and five other counties.

Lockport resident Krystal Dorey ran a write-in campaign. Her vote total wasn’t available Tuesday night.

The winner will face Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville in November.

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