Underwood declared victory over Republican challenger Jim Oberweis earlier Thursday as the Associated Press projected her as the winner more than a week after Election Day.
It’s official -- we won! I’m so honored to continue to represent our community’s values in Congress. Thank you for all of your support. pic.twitter.com/ArOPb0hBRu— Lauren Underwood (@LaurenUnderwood) November 12, 2020
Oberweis declared victory after taking a slim lead following election night, but thousands of mail-in ballots counted in the days since went in Underwood's favor.
At last count, Underwood was ahead of Republican state senator Jim Oberweis by more than 4,000 votes. Underwood has 51% of the votes, with 200,037, to 49% for Oberweis, who has 195,749 votes.
Oberweis has not conceded, and said he is exploring all legal options - including a possible recount.
A spokesman for Jim Oberweis' campaign said: "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. 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."
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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.
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.