Illinois’ congressional races take shape after primaries

Illinois voters cast their ballots for who they want to represent their party in Congress in this fall’s general election.

The Illinois Republican Party, hoping to win back some of the seats they’ve long held in the Chicago suburbs, had a number of highly-competitive races.

In Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, state Sens. Jim Oberweis and Sue Rezin found themselves in a three-way race with Catalina Lauf, a former Trump administration appointee who bills herself as the conservative answer to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. They’re fighting to face Democrat Lauren Underwood in November. Oberweis held a narrow lead late Tuesday, but the massive number of mail-in ballots cast made the race too close to call.

“I have been disappointed in the negative tone that the campaign has taken, but all of that is behind us,” Oberweis said in a statement Tuesday. “Now is the time for us as Republicans to come together and finish the mission which is to defeat Lauren Underwood in November.”

Jeanne Ives emerged on top in the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District. The conservative former state representative, who shocked the state two years ago by nearly ousting former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2018, handily defeated local surgeon Jay Kinzler. She will face freshman Democrat Sean Casten in November.

Incumbent Democrat Dan Lipinski trailed behind challenger Marie Newman late Tuesday. Newman lost to Lipinski in a close race in 2018. The margin was slim enough where the coming days’ worth of mailed-in votes could draw it closer.

In that same district, the Illinois Republican Party celebrated a victory over self-avowed Nazi Arthur Jones, who ran against Dan Lipinski in 2018, after the GOP found he was the sole candidate in the Republican primary.

Illinois GOP Chairman Tim Schneider said Jones has no place in the GOP.

“Because many folks go to the polls and simply choose a familiar name in down-ballot races, the ILGOP was committed to deploying resources to educate voters on Jones’ heinous views,” Schneider said in a statement. “We were successful in doing that, and hopefully now Arthur Jones has gotten the message that he does not represent our values and has no place in the Republican Party.”

Many races will likely see large swings in the days after the election due to record numbers of vote-by-mail ballots cast.

In the race to succeed retiring U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, Mary Miller held a commanding enough lead for the GOP nod over Darren Duncan that she is likely to be the one to run in the very Republican district representing the southeastern third of Illinois.

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