Casten celebrates victory over Ives in 6th Congressional race
After a tough battle in Illinois' 6th Congressional District, Democratic incumbent Sean Casten of Downers Grove on Wednesday celebrated a victory over Republican rival Jeanne Ives of Wheaton.
With Election Day votes counted in 638 of the district's 640 precincts, Casten was leading Ives 184,809 to 167,629, unofficial results showed. Libertarian Bill Redpath of West Dundee had 6,188 votes.
That gave Casten about 51.5% of the vote and Ives' roughly 46.7% -- enough for The Associated Press to pronounce Casten the victor in his quest for a second term.
Casten thanked voters in a statement to the media.
"You have given me a tremendous amount of responsibility, and I can only hope to live up to your expectations," he said, promising more town hall-style meeting with constituents and more accessibility in the next two years.
Casten spelled out his priorities for his second term, too.
"I will continue to advocate for our district on COVID relief, health care, combating climate change and job creation," he said.
Ives acknowledged her loss in a statement on social media.
"My team fought hard, but in the end the power of the opposition was too great," Ives said. "The foundation of the Republican Party has been freedom, smart government and equality under the law. My campaign believed in those principles and fought hard for them. We did not run from this struggle."
The unofficial tally doesn't include all the votes cast in the race. In addition to the two overdue precincts, ballots postmarked by Tuesday that arrive at election authority offices by Nov. 17 will be counted, as will provisional ballots.
The 6th District includes parts of suburban Cook County as well as parts of DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.
About 283,000 of the more than 1.1 million ballots that had been requested by mail in those counties had yet to be turned in as of Wednesday. Of course, not all of those ballots were requested by 6th District voters.
As of Wednesday, Casten was leading in just DuPage and McHenry counties, and Ives was in front in the other three. But the numbers in DuPage and McHenry were enough to give Casten the edge.
In an interview Wednesday, Casten said his team was confident as the totals rolled in.
"It was trending positive all night," he said. "We knew what the numbers were."
Casten and Ives disagreed on nearly every issue, with each sharing their party's views on abortion, gun control, President Donald Trump's policies and more.
Ives bashed Casten's record, his comportment and even his tweets. Casten criticized Ives' support of Trump and her stances on political and social issues, especially her questioning of mankind's impact on climate change. That was a key issue for Casten, the former CEO of an energy recycling company who made the environment a tent pole campaign issue.
"The voters of the 6th District sent a resounding message," Casten said in his statement. "They voted for science and facts. ... They acknowledged the climate crisis and decided we must do something about it."
Casten was part of the blue wave that gave Democrats majority control of the House in 2018. He defeated six-term Republican incumbent Peter Roskam of Wheaton that year, earning nearly 54% of the vote.
Even though all the ballots haven't yet been counted, more people supported Casten at the polls this year than in 2018, when he had 169,001 votes, records show.
Besides enjoying his victory, Casten on Wednesday was keeping an eye on the presidential race along with much of the world. Casten backed Democrat Joe Biden, and he hoped several states still would break the former vice president's way.
"There's a lot of votes still out there," Casten said.