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Krishnamoorthi leads for open House seat, incumbents cruising

Raja Krishnamoorthi, 8th Congressional District Candidate. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

The northwest suburban Congressional seat that belonged to Senate candidate Tammy Duckworth will remain in Democratic hands, as Raja Krishnamoorthi holding an early lead Tuesaday over Republican Peter DiCianni in the Illinois 8th District.

Krishnamoorthi, a Schaumburg attorney and businessman who worked on President Barack Obama’s 2004 U.S. Senate campaign, rode a large fundraising advantage and sought to tie DiCianni to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. With 80 percent of precincts reporting, Krishnamoorthi had pulled in 60 percent of the vote. Addressing supporters at his victory party in Schaumburg, Krishnamoorthi noted that he won election in a season when minorities felt alienated by Trump’s harsh rhetoric about Muslims and immigrants.

“You’re an American regardless of the color of your skin, where you came from, who you love or how you dress, and, yes, how many letters are in your name,” Krishnamoorthi said.

“It’s looking promising,” Krishnamoorthi said around 8 p.m. from his campaign celebration in Schaumburg. “We tried to keep the race as positive as possible, putting forth and ideas-based, policy based campaign. It was long on ideas and short on insults and I think that’s the kind of campaign the residents of this district deserve, and that’s why I think they’ve responded.”

The third time was the charm for Krishnamoorthi, who lost his previous two runs for elected office, finishing second to Duckworth in the Democratic primary two years ago and running unsuccessfully for state Comptroller in 2012. DiCianni was mayor of Elmhurst from 2009 to 2012 and is a member of the DuPage County Board of Commissioners.

Hours after the polls closed, incumbent candidates were largely looking at comfortable leads Tuesday night, and a dramatic shift to the makeup of the Illinois Congressional delegation  — 10 Democrats and eight Republicans— appeared unlikely. Four seats, two held by Republicans and two by Democrats, were uncontested.

In the western suburbs, Rep. Peter Roskam was poised to beat Democratic challenger Amanda Howland easily for the 6th District seat, with 58 percent of the vote with 76 percent of precincts tallied. Democrat Rep. Mike Quigley appeared likely to cruise to victory in a three-way race against Republican Vince Kolber and Green Party candidate Rob Sherman, with Quigley tallying 70 percent of the vote in the northern Chicago district with 83 percent the precincts returned.

Despite faltering out of the gate in his bid for a 13th term in the Democratic primary, Bobby Rush won a landslide in May and cruised to victory over Republican August Deuser, with 74 percent of the vote with 74 of precincts reporting. The South Side congressman, 70, has held the seat since 1992, and weathered a nominating petition challenge in the primary and has been dogged by rumors he is in ill health, but has pledged to serve out the duration of his term.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky was leading her Republican rival, Joan McCarthy Lasonde with 66 percent of the the vote, with 82 percent of precincts reporting.

Rep. Danny Davis led Republican Jeffrey Leef in the Chicago-based 7th District, raking in 84 percent of the vote from the 70 of precincts counted. Rep. Robin Kelly held a commanding 79 percent of the vote in the 2nd District race against John Morrow, with 83 percent of precincts tallied.

Democrat Bill Foster was up 60 percent to 40 percent over Tonia Khouri in the 11th District race with 74 percent of precincts counted.