The Associated Press on Thursday called the race for the seat in Illinois' 14th Congressional District for incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood. She defeated Republican Illinois state senator Jim Oberweis.
In response to the AP call, Underwood issued the following statement: "I am honored to be reelected to represent Illinois' beautiful 14th District in Congress. This was a tough race under some very difficult circumstances, and I want to say thank you to my supporters, the voters, and our elections officials for their diligent work."
"We face urgent challenges as a community and a country. I remain focused on getting results: protecting our families, ensuring a robust economic recovery, and lowering the cost of health care. Whether you voted for me or not, I pledge to represent every member of this community. That’s my responsibility, and I take it seriously. It's a privilege to bring northern Illinois voices and values to Washington and I can’t wait to build upon all that we’ve accomplished, together."
Oberweis led in the vote count coming out of Election Day and declared victory. But Underwood refused to concede, saying that thousands of mail-in ballots that remained to be tabulated in the race would eventually put her on top. That is indeed what happened, as the Democrat's early deficit flipped in recent days to a lead that grew to more than 4,000 votes, with more coming in.
Oberweis, however, is not throwing in the towel. In a statement released Thursday evening, Oberweis’ campaign spokesman Travis Akin 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.” He said there are still votes that need to be counted, and the campaign is “committed to exploring all of the legal options at our disposal,” which could include seeking a recount.