CHICAGO (WLS) — Incumbent Democrat Sean Casten has been re-elected to Illinois’ 6th Congressional District after Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau called to concede Tuesday night.
Sean Casten was first elected to Congress in 2018, a year that saw a blue wave with Democrats capturing the House of Representatives off the heels of a backlash against then-President Donald Trump.
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The climate scientist turned politician defeated fellow Democratic incumbent Marie Newman in the June primary, weeks after the death of his 17-year old daughter Gwen.
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On the campaign trail, Casten has advocated for abortion rights.
On Election Day, he said he was confident that even though he is new to many of his constituents, Casten said he still connected with them.
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Casten’s opponent was Republican candidate and Orland Park mayor, Keith Pekau.
The 6th Congressional District drew national attention and was one of many suburban races in the nation that could help tip the balance of power in Washington.
Ahead of Election Day results, Pekau said he was excited for the national attention and with the recently redrawn district, said he was hopeful of turning the district red once again.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy even paid a visit over the weekend to help campaign for him in a final push, days before the election.
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“I focus on the issues people care about which is economy and public safety,”Pekau said. “And [Casten is] focused on an issue that most of the voters — that’s not the issue they’re primarily concerned about. They’re concerned about $5 gallon gas, they’re concerned about $4 for eggs, $4 for a loaf of bread, and obviously the crime issues that we’re having.”
Pekau was been outspoken against governor Pritzker’s mask and vaccine mandates, and has made the state of the economy and fighting crime the focus of his campaign.
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“I’ve done the things you need to do to control inflation, which is cut costs in the village. I’ve cut that in the village and we focus on things that matter: roads, parks, and things that people care about,” Pekau said. “And crime. My record is very clear. We have the lowest crime we’ve had in 27 years.”
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