Conservative state lawmaker Jeanne Ives on Tuesday captured the Republican nomination for the 6th Congressional District, which covers parts of Chicago’s west and northwest suburbs. Ives is a former state lawmaker who, in 2018, forced then-Gov. Bruce Rauner into a primary and very nearly beat him. She’s hoping she can flip the 6th District back to red by beating Sean Casten, a first-term congressman representing the 6th District.
With turnout in Tuesday’s primary election low amid COVID-19 fears, Casten said it’s critical for Congress to fund medical testing and health care, and to address what he calls an “unprecedented economic meltdown.”
“This is going to make the 2008 financial crisis look trivial by comparison,” Casten said Wednesday on “Chicago Tonight.” “I wish we were (at) this point without having blown a trillion-dollar hole in our deficit in the last cycle. An awful lot of the companies that are coming looking for bailouts just got huge tax cuts and then paid out big dividends. Anything we do on the bailout side is going to have to have some strings to make sure that we don’t funnel money to investors … but we don’t have a choice right now but to spend massive amounts of money.”
Casten also says a slow response from the federal government will make addressing the rapidly expanding crisis even more challenging. “We have seen those countries like South Korea, like China, that dealt with this at the early stage, that listened to the scientists that were talking to them and didn’t ignore them or try to politicize it. We lost three weeks, and people are going to die because of that,” he said.
Unopposed in the Democratic primary, Casten faces a staunch conservative in the form of his Republican challenger Ives. She describes Casten as “part of a radical new caucus that thinks they are better suited to make decisions concerning your life than you are.”
“That’s not a serious comment,” Casten said. “I am part of a freshman class that came here with a tremendous amount of experience. As one of the my colleagues said to me, ‘The weird thing about your class is you all value expertise over experience.’ ... My goodness do we need that right now.”