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Democrat Lauren Underwood declared winner, beats Republican Jim Oberweis to keep House seat

The latest AP tally put Underwood 4,288 votes ahead of Oberweis.

Congresswoman Lauren Underwood cheers up while she watches National Election Results on the television 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: ILNH103
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood cheers while watching election results election night in St. Charles.
AP file

WASHINGTON — Freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Ill., surviving a tougher-than- expected challenge from Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis, was declared the winner Thursday in the 14th Congressional District.

Oberweis is not going to concede and will seek a recount, a spokesman said.

The Associated Press declared Underwood the winner at 2:11 p.m. Chicago time, with most of the ballots in the seven-county district counted.

The latest AP tally put Underwood at 200,037 votes, getting 50.5% of the vote to Oberweis’ yield of 195,749 votes or 49.5% — putting Underwood 4,288 votes ahead.

After AP called the race Underwood said in a statement, “I am honored to be reelected to represent Illinois’ beautiful 14th District in Congress. This was a tough race under some very difficult circumstances, and I want to say thank you to my supporters, the voters, and our elections officials for their diligent work.

“We face urgent challenges as a community and a country. I remain focused on getting results: protecting our families, ensuring a robust economic recovery, and lowering the cost of health care. Whether you voted for me or not, I pledge to represent every member of this community. That’s my responsibility, and I take it seriously. It’s a privilege to bring northern Illinois voices and values to Washington and I can’t wait to build upon all that we’ve accomplished, together.”

“The Associated Press calling the race in the 14th Congressional District for Lauren Underwood does not change anything in this race from a legal standpoint,” said Oberweis spokesman Travis Akin.

“Illinois election law has provisions to allow parties in a closely contested race to seek a recount to ensure that all legal votes are counted and to ensure that the final outcome is the right outcome. There are still votes that have yet to be counted. The totals at this point are unofficial totals as the race has yet to be certified. We are committed to exploring all of the legal options at our disposal and will pursue these options that are afforded our campaign under law.”

Last week, based on early and incomplete returns, Oberweis declared himself the winner. As the mail and provisional ballots were being counted, and Oberweis found a small election-night lead shrinking, he started raising money for a recount.

In 2018 in a blue wave Underwood beat then-Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill., by 14,871 votes.

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.

Illinois gives local election authorities until Nov. 17 to count all the mail and provisional ballots.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.