Democratic Illinois Rep. Sean Casten defeated his primary challenger, Democratic Illinois Rep. Marie Newman, by a landslide to represent the state’s 6th district in Tuesday’s Illinois Democratic primary election.
Casten won with 64.5% of the vote and Newman trailed him with 32%, results showed. He had a total of 29,035 votes at the time of his victory.
The two incumbent candidates faced off after the Illinois redistricting process drastically redrew the districts of the Chicago suburbs. Casten, who has represented the 6th district since 2019, lost a large portion of his constituents, FiveThirtyEight reported. Only 23% of his 6th district constituents are now represented by him, handing Newman an advantage with her representing 41% of the new 6th district.
Newman currently represents the 3rd district but decided to run for re-election in the new 6th in order to represent the plurality of her constituents, according to FiveThirtyEight. Her home, previously in the 3rd district, is now located in the new 4th.
Though having a liberal voting record, Casten was the more moderate candidate compared to his opponent, who supports the Green New Deal and a $15 minimum wage, FiveThityEight reported. He was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters and received a perfect rating from the pro-abortion organization, NARAL, FiveThirtyEight reported.
His challenger touted her personal experience of undergoing an abortion in the 1980’s and targeted Casten for previously voting for former President George H.W. Bush, a pro-life advocate, FiveThirtyEight reported. She had been endorsed by progressive Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Ro Khanna of California and Pramila Jayapal of Washington.
Liberal organizations such as Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Everytown for Gun Safety, Sunrise Chicago, and Our Revolution Illinois, have also endorsed her, according to USA Today. (RELATED: Rep. Sean Casten Details Final Hours Before Teen Daughter Died In Heartbreaking Statement)
Casten’s campaign targeted Newman’s bribery scandal where she allegedly offered a potential 2020 primary opponent, Iymen Chehade, a job in exchange for his agreement not to run. Chehade was hired to advise Newman on issues surrounding the Israel-Palestine conflict and had reportedly asked her to agree to a term-limits pledge and endorse him once she stepped down.
The alleged agreement would violate federal law regulating the hiring of congressional staffers and contractors.
The Office of Congressional Ethics said they found evidence that Newman “may have promised federal employment to a primary opponent for the purpose of procuring political support” in a 6-0 vote. The Democratic representative further denied any wrongdoing to the Ethics Committee.
“The factual and legal allegations were fatally defective,” Newman’s attorneys wrote, “spurred by the charges of an adverse third party, and prodded by an ideologically hostile group.”
Casten also raised $3.2 million in campaign funds, a substantial amount more in fundraising than Newman’s $1.5 million, according to FiveThirtyEight.
A Garin Hart Yang Research Survey from May 20 found Casten in the lead with 36% support, a nine-point lead ahead of Newman who held 27%.