NAPERVILLE, Ill. — In Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, the race between first-term Democratic Rep. Lauren Underwood and Republican State Sen. Jim Oberweis remains too close to call. Oberweis is claiming victory, but Underwood is not conceding.
Only about 1,000 votes separate the two with Oberweis at 189,025 votes and Underwood at 188,130 votes as of Wednesday evening around 6:30 p.m.
The returns are still coming in with mail-in ballots that are positioned to be the difference maker in the unexpectedly close race.
There was record setting turnout in the district.
The incumbent was hoping to return to Washington after being first elected in 2018. The challenger is a state senator hoping to get to federal office after three failed attempts.
Beginning Wednesday, the district’s seven counties were split with the Republican holding a less than a 1,000 vote advantage.
But late Wednesday afternoon, Oberweis put out a short video on his Facebook page claiming victory.
“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,” he said. “I want to personally thank everyone who helped my campaign and who went out and voted for me. I look forward to serving the people of the 14th District in Congress. Thank you.”
Oberweis had more votes in Dekalb, Kendall, Lake and McHenry with Underwood leading in Will, DuPage and Kane.
However, election officials say mail-in ballots are still being counted but had to be post marked by Tuesday. They can be tallied up until Nov. 17.
Underwood’s campaign just released a statement that read in part:
“Jim Oberweis doesn’t get to call this election: the voters do. There are thousands of votes that have yet to be counted.”
However, the Oberweis campaign says there are not enough mail in ballots to bridge the gap.