Illinois Election Results: IL 14th District race between Lauren Underwood, Jim Oberweis neck-and-neck

Oberweis declares victory, Underwood says she is waiting for all votes to be counted

Thursday, November 5, 2020
IL 14th District race between Lauren Underwood, Jim Oberweis neck-and-neck
Republican challenger Jim Oberweis has a narrow lead and has declared victory, but incumbent Lauren Underwood said they are waiting until all absentee and mail in votes are counted

WOODSTOCK, Ill. (WLS) -- Incumbent Lauren Underwood is trailing her Republican challenger Jim Oberweis by fewer than 1,000 votes in a close race in Illinois' 14th District.

With 100% of the precincts reporting, Oberweis is leading by 895 votes.

There are still mail-in ballots that have not yet been counted that Underwood said she wants to see in the final tally.

Oberweis declared victory in a statement and on social media.

Underwood responded with a statement, saying, "Jim Oberweis doesn't get to call this election: the voters do. There are thousands of votes that have yet to be counted. We appreciate every voter who made their voice heard, and our county clerks and election officials must count every ballot in as expeditious and transparent a manner as is possible. Based on publicly available data, we remain confident that once ballots are counted, this race will reflect that the voters have reelected Congresswoman Lauren Underwood."

The fight between Lauren Underwood and Jim Oberweis are neck-and-neck in Illinois' 14th District congressional race.

Underwood said she planned to wait until all votes were counted, based on trends that show that the first day-of in-person votes tend to skew more Republican, while early and mail-in votes, which are counted second, skew more Democrat. Considering the record-setting number of mail-in and early votes in Illinois this year, Underwood said she would wait to see what the final tally is.

She said she is overall encouraged that there was such a high voter turnout.

"You can't always know an hour or two in. And that's OK. Because just like voters wait hours standing in line to vote, and they should not have to but they do because it's that important, we will wait for every ballot to be counted," Underwood said.

Oberweis was equally optimistic.

"I'm afraid to get too excited, but it looks like it's gonna be a really good night," he said. "If I win, and Trump is going to win, and it looks like the fair tax-- which is the Madigan-Pritzer tax hike-- is going down."

Voters are still waiting to find out who will represent them.

"I wish that everything in general could just get settled because I feel like with it being in the air, there's just more tension," said Tom Hultsch, voter.

"I would like to just see everything move on , and we all just need to move forward in a positive direction," said Trish Alberico, voter.

When Underwood won the 14th congressional district in 2018 she made history, becoming the first woman and the first African American to represent the district. A registered nurse, the political newcomer was part of a wave of dozens of Republican districts across the country that flipped to Democrat.

Oberweis is hoping he wins and returns the district to a Republican stronghold.

"That is not a large number, when you talk about 380,000 or 390,000 votes. But if you get to a recount, up 895 is pretty hard to overcome, that kind of lead," he said.

Underwood raised more than $7 million during her campaign, while Oberweis raised about $2.5 million.

The 14th District covers portions of seven different counties and typically leans Republican.