Hultgren retains conservative grip on 14th Congressional District
Randy Hultgren retained his 14th Congressional District seat Tuesday, helping Republicans maintain a solid majority in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The contest was never in doubt. Hultgren posted a comfortable lead even in the early vote totals.
Unofficial vote totals show Hultgren received about 60 percent of the vote. He tallied 127,696 votes compared to 85,420 votes for Democratic challenger Jim Walz with 332 out of 465 precincts reporting.
Walz mounted an energetic campaign, but he suffered from an inability to pull Hultgren into public debates, lowering the overall profile of the race. The result was Walz carrying only 40 percent of the vote, a testament to the conservative foundations of the district.
Hultgren first came to the seat in 2010, defeating Democrat Bill Foster by 14,000 votes. In the following two contests against Dennis Anderson, Hultgren took 58 percent of the vote in 2012, then he built on that victory to take 65 percent of the vote in 2014.
With his victory, Hultgren wins another two years to continue his push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and work on immigration reform and preventing suspected terrorists and people on no-fly lists from accessing weapons.
"I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the people of the 14th District," Hultgren said. "The reality is, with how close the Senate is going to be, we're going to have to find ways to come together because there are a lot of big things not working well right now."
Hultgren said there will be a healing period after a bitter overall campaign season, but he is encouraged about returning to a Republican majority in the House.
"It's been a campaign I never expected," Hultgren said. "I didn't expect these candidates at the top of the ticket. It's been ugly at times. And the last two years have been difficult as well. My hope is the bad attitudes can be put aside. We're better than this, and we have to find ways to come together and get good things done for people."