Casten unseats Roskam in 6th District race

  • Democrat Sean Casten celebrates with 11th District U.S. Rep. Bill Foster Tuesday after the political newcomer unseated longtime Republican incumbent Peter Roskam to win the 6th District seat in Congress.

      Democrat Sean Casten celebrates with 11th District U.S. Rep. Bill Foster Tuesday after the political newcomer unseated longtime Republican incumbent Peter Roskam to win the 6th District seat in Congress. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Supporters of 6th District Democrat Sean Casten celebrate his win Tuesday over longtime incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton.

      Supporters of 6th District Democrat Sean Casten celebrate his win Tuesday over longtime incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, with his wife Elizabeth, concedes to 6th District Democratic challenger Sean Casten at his election night party Tuesday at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton.

      Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, with his wife Elizabeth, concedes to 6th District Democratic challenger Sean Casten at his election night party Tuesday at Arrowhead Golf Club in Wheaton. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Republican U.S. Peter Roskam concedes defeat Tuesday after he lost a re-election battle in the 6th Congressional District to Democrat Sean Casten.

      Republican U.S. Peter Roskam concedes defeat Tuesday after he lost a re-election battle in the 6th Congressional District to Democrat Sean Casten. Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • Downers Grove Democrat Sean Casten celebrates on stage with his family Tuesday during an election night party in Warrenville. There, he claimed victory over 6th District incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton.

      Downers Grove Democrat Sean Casten celebrates on stage with his family Tuesday during an election night party in Warrenville. There, he claimed victory over 6th District incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Sean Casten looks forward to his days as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, after beating incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam in the 6th District Tuesday night.

      Sean Casten looks forward to his days as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, after beating incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam in the 6th District Tuesday night. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Supporters of Downers Grove Democrat Sean Casten cheer his victory Tuesday in the 6th U.S. Congressional District during a party in Warrenville.

      Supporters of Downers Grove Democrat Sean Casten cheer his victory Tuesday in the 6th U.S. Congressional District during a party in Warrenville. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Anita Ehlers of Barrington reacts Tuesday after learning Democrat Sean Casten beat incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam in a tight race for the 6th U.S. Congressional District.

      Anita Ehlers of Barrington reacts Tuesday after learning Democrat Sean Casten beat incumbent Republican Rep. Peter Roskam in a tight race for the 6th U.S. Congressional District. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 11/6/2018 11:02 PM

Democratic entrepreneur and first-time candidate Sean Casten of Downers Grove unseated longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in the 6th Congressional District.

Casten claimed victory after he received 53 percent of votes cast in parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties, according to unofficial results with 96 percent of 640 precincts reporting.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Casten two years ago was a clean energy businessman who had just sold his company. Now he's preparing to join the House of Representatives, where he says he will act as "an independent check" on President Donald Trump while advancing priorities of environmental protections, women's issues and health care.

"I've spent my career building businesses that will leave a safer, cleaner planet to our children. But when Donald Trump was elected, I knew I had to do more," Casten said in his final TV ad about his "positive vision" for the future. "In Congress, I'll make decisions based on facts, not partisan politics. I'll work with Republicans and Democrats to tackle our problems."

Casten, 46, of Downers Grove, emerged this spring as the Democrats' choice to challenge the 12-year incumbent Roskam, 57, of Wheaton, in an attempt to stop the Republican from gaining a seventh term in the district he has represented since 2007.

Casten beat six others -- including five women -- in a Democratic primary. Despite initial hopes one of the women could unseat Roskam amid a national wave of female political involvement, the party rallied around Casten's campaign.

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The primary win made Casten the face of the Democratic Party's push to gain power in the 6th District, after voters there supported Democrat Hillary Clinton for president in 2016 by a 7-percentage point margin.

Sean Casten celebrates at his election night party in Warrenville after the Downers Grove Democrat defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in the 6th District.
  Sean Casten celebrates at his election night party in Warrenville after the Downers Grove Democrat defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in the 6th District. - Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

Roskam conceded defeat Tuesday after he focused much of his campaign on the benefits of 2017's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which he helped write and push to approval. Casten challenged Roskam's assertions about the value of the tax law and made the environment, health care and gun control his top campaign priorities.

Casten's 2-year term representing voters in the 6th District, which makes the shape of a C from Naperville to Tower Lakes, begins in January.

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