Republican Jim Oberweis is confident enough that he’ll be the next representative for Illinois’ 14th Congressional district that he has already accepted an invitation to go to Washington, D.C., later this month for a freshmen orientation, even as incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood said that once thousands of outstanding ballots are tallied, she will hold onto her seat.
Oberweis said after talking with county clerks in the seven counties the district covers, his campaign believes there aren’t enough ballots outstanding that would allow Underwood to overtake his slim lead; his only concern, he said, is that Illinois allows ballots postmarked on or before Nov. 3. to be counted if the ballots arrive by mail up to two weeks after election day.
“This is Illinois, which should make anybody somewhat concerned,” Oberweis, magnate of the eponymous dairy chain and currently a state senator, told WTTW News on Thursday. “I don’t think that should be policy at all. It should be votes have to be in by election day. You can mail them in early, you can check online to see that your vote was received. If it wasn’t received you can vote in person, you can go to a polling place, you can vote in person, you can get a ballot, you can physically turn it in. There are all kinds of alternatives. But this idea of going for two weeks, no, I think that’s a very bad idea.”
As of late Thursday unofficial Associated Press results showed Oberweis with 628 votes more than Underwood.
The Congresswoman’s campaign said there are tens of thousands of voters whose ballots have not yet been counted, particularly in Lake and McHenry counties.
Underwood’s campaign said it expects those results to be released on Nov. 10 and Nov. 14, respectively.
“Mr. Oberweis does not get to call this election; the voters do,” Underwood said later Thursday afternoon on a Zoom call with reporters. “Every vote most be counted. Once every vote is counted, I feel confident that I’ll be reelected to represent this community in Congress.”
Underwood flipped the northwest suburban district – which covers parts of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties – two years ago.
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