Lauren Underwood faces reelection battle in race too close to call


Daily file photo by Jason Beeferman

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood. Underwood was declared the winner of her race against Republican Jim Oberweis.

Jacob Fulton, City Editor

In a close-fought race to continue her hold over a seat in a predominantly red district, U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville) may have fallen short in a race that continues to be too close to call.

Underwood faced off against Republican Jim Oberweis for Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, and Oberweis claimed victory on Wednesday. Underwood’s campaign, however, has not conceded, and is waiting for more mail-in ballots to confirm the results of the race. As of Wednesday night, less than 1,000 votes separated the two.

“Today, after contacting every county clerk across the 14th District, I am pleased to say that, with only a handful of outstanding ballots, it appears that I have won a tough-fought campaign against Lauren Underwood,” Oberweis said in a video posted to his Facebook page. “This race has been an uphill battle to say the least. Lauren Underwood has enjoyed a tremendous financial advantage, having outspent me 4-1. But despite all of the money she spent, we prevailed.”

Across all counties in the district, and in both in-person and mail-in voting, votes for the candidates have continued to split fairly evenly. However, Underwood’s campaign remains confident that once all votes are counted, the incumbent candidate will prevail.

Currently, an unknown number of late mail-in ballots have yet to be counted, and could tip the scales in favor of either candidate. On Tuesday, Illinois officials estimated between 300,000 and 400,000 requested mail-in ballots have yet to be returned across the state — many of which may be from voters in Underwood’s district.

“Jim Oberweis doesn’t get to call this election: the voters do,” Underwood’s campaign said in a statement late Wednesday afternoon. “There are thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We appreciate every voter who made their voice heard, and our county clerks and election officials must count every ballot in as expeditious and transparent a manner as is possible.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @jacobnfulton

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