Seeking House majority, Democrats look for two pickups in suburbs

Chronicle Media

U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton

Democrats need to win 26 more seats nationally to seize the majority in the House of Representative next year and they hope to get two by flipping a pair of suburban seats in November’s general election.

Republicans Randy Hultgren (R-14th) and Peter Roskam (R-6th) are considered vulnerable, running in moderate suburban districts in a year where Democrats hope to take advantage of the unpopularity of President Donald Trump.

Both were unopposed for re-nomination while 6th District Democratic nominee Sean Casten and 14th District nominee Lauren Underwood both won in multi-candidate primaries.

Illinois congressional incumbents were either unopposed for re-nominations or won easily won primary races. The exception was Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski, who narrowly survived a challenge from newcomer Marie Newman, winning by just around 2,100 votes out of more than 92,000 cast in a district that runs from Chicago into the southwest suburbs.


Democratic primary

Sean Casten

Sean Casten          18,863

Kelly Mazewski   16,686

Carole Cheney    10,936

Amanda Howland                7,833

Becky Anderson   3,845

Jennifer Zordani                  2,586

Ryan Huffman     2,241


Sean Casten, a Dartmouth-educated engineer and businessman from Downers Grove, will face Republican incumbent Peter Roskam in a district ripe for a Democratic takeover after Hillary Clinton carried it over President Donald Trump two years ago.

The Cook Political Report calls the 6th a tossup while two other analysts say it leans Republican.

Casten is a political newcomer who calls climate change a major issue while Roskam won his last race by 18 points. Roskam, who has been reluctant to hold Town Hall constituent meetings, says he wants a series of debates.




Raja Krishnamoorthi

Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi seeks a second term in a district described by political observers as safe Democratic. He’ll face Republican J.D. Diganvker, an Indian immigrant who was unopposed.



After surviving a tough primary challenge, Lipinski, a seven-term representative faces Arthur Fox, a Holocaust denier denounced by Republicans



Foster, a Naperville Democrat who won his last race by nearly 21 points, seeks his fifth full term.

Bill Foster

He’ll face Republican Nick Stella, a west suburban cardiologist who captured 79 percent of the GOP primary vote.


Republican primary

Doug Bennett     8,484

Jeremy Wynes    8,225

Sapan Shah           7,093


Republican Doug Bennett, a business consultant and historian, narrowly won the GOP nomination in a north suburban district that Republicans won in 2010 and 2014.

Incumbent Brad Schneider, seeking his second term, was unopposed in the Democratic primary and hopes to build on anti-Donald Trump sentiment in a district won handily by Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Brad Schneider



Incumbent Mike Quigley earned nearly 63 percent of the Democratic primary vote to easily beat back three challengers to claim nomination for a seat he has held since 2009. Tom Hansen, his Republican opponent, is a Chicago real estate agent.


Democratic primary

Lauren Underwood           28,047

Matt Brolley        6,538

Victor Swanson 3,434

John Hosta           2,492

George Weber    2,465

Daniel R-Johnson               1,118

Jim Walz                496


Democratic voters made history when they nominated  Lauren Underwood, an African-American women and healthcare specialist, to run against Republican Randy Hultgren.

Hultgren was first elected in 2010. Two national political observers call the district likely Republican while another says it remains solid GOP.  The district runs from Wisconsin state line south through Kendall County.

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Plano

President Donald Trump narrowly won the district in 2016 while Hultgren won by 19 points over Jim Walz.

Hultgren has voted with the Trump agenda more than 95 percent of the time so far.






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