Republican challenger Jim Oberweis’ already-slim lead over Democratic incumbent Lauren Underwood in the 14th Congressional District race narrowed even further on Thursday and the contest remains too close to call.
Oberweis, a state senator from Sugar Grove, now is in front of Underwood, a first-term lawmaker from Naperville, by a 189,108 to 188,346 margin, unofficial results showed. That’s a difference of only 762 votes, down from 895 on Wednesday.
The new margin reflects 299 additional votes from DuPage County, according to The Associated Press.
Oberweis spokesman Travis Akin suspects the newly counted votes were mail-in ballots that had been dropped into secure ballot boxes on Election Day or had been sent via the U.S. Postal Service.
“We expect the vote total to change as mail-in votes trickle in and Election Day ballot box drop-off votes are counted, but we do not expect the outcome to change,” Akin said.
Oberweis has 50.1% of the vote. Underwood has 49.9%. The Associated Press has not called the race.
The updated tally likely doesn’t include all the votes cast in the race. Ballots postmarked by this past Tuesday that arrive at election offices by Nov. 17 will be counted, too, as will provisional ballots.
The 14th District includes parts of DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Kendall counties. As of Wednesday, more than 157,000 of the 703,850 ballots that had been requested by mail had yet to be turned in those counties, according to state election officials. Not all were requested by 14th District voters, however.
Despite the uncertainty, Oberweis declared victory in a video released Wednesday to social media.
An Underwood spokeswoman called that pronouncement premature as the candidates — and 14th District voters — wait for every ballot to be counted.
As of Thursday, Oberweis was leading in four of the district’s seven counties — DeKalb, Kendall, Lake and McHenry, according to The Associated Press. Underwood led in DuPage, Kane and Will counties.
Source: The Daily Chronicle