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Lauren Underwood increases lead over Jim Oberweis in Illinois Congress contest: up by 3,524 votes

Thousands of ballots still have to be counted in the Illinois 14th Congressional District.

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood checks her phone as she walks up her office at an election night headquarter in St. Charles, Ill., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lauren Underwood of Naperville and Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove are the candidates for the 14th U.S. Congressional District seat. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: ILNH104
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood checks her phone at election night headquarters in St. Charles, Ill., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Lauren Underwood of Naperville and Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove are the candidates for the 14th U.S. Congressional District seat.
Nam Y. Huh/AP photo

WASHINGTON — With more mail ballots counted Tuesday, Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., increased her lead over Republican Jim Oberweis to 3,524 votes in the hotly contested 14th Congressional District contest.

The latest numbers, according to the Associated Press, gives Underwood 50.4% to Oberweis with 49.6%.

In raw numbers, as of Tuesday afternoon, Underwood had 198,200 votes to Oberweis with 194,676.

Most of the latest count came from ballots in the parts of Lake and McHenry Counties in the district.

There are seven counties in the sprawling 14th Congressional District, GOP suburban and rural turf Underwood flipped in 2018 when she beat Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., by 15,871 votes, or 52.5% to 47.5%.

In 2020, the winning margin of either Underwood of Oberweis, a state senator, seems on track to be slimmer.

There are an estimated 12,000 ballots in the district still to be counted, a source told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Oberweis campaign said it is anticipating a request for a recount and has been making fundraising appeals to gather cash for the legal challenge.

Oberweis last week declared himself the winner when he was ahead in the count, claiming, incorrectly only a “handful” of ballots were left to be counted.

On Tuesday Oberweis said in a statement, “We have said all along the vote totals would change but we believe the Election Day outcome will remain the same. This election is far from over. Illinois Election law provides mechanisms to ensure that every legally cast ballot is counted. While there certainly have been many disagreements in this election – we all can agree that every legally cast ballot should be counted.”

Underwood, 34, is a Naperville resident; Jim Oberweis, 74, lives in Sugar Grove.

The 14th Congressional District includes parts of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DeKalb, Kendall, DuPage and Will Counties.