After his victory capped off a big night for Democrats, Congressman-elect Sean Casten says he’s ready to get to work after unseating long-time Republican Rep. Peter Roskam in the state’s sixth congressional district.
“I decided to run in no small part because I wasn’t happy where the country was going,” Casten said at a press availability Wednesday.
The newly-minted congressman has never held public office before, but that all changed on Tuesday night, as he narrowly beat Roskam in a hotly-contested race, helping to flip the House of Representatives back to Democratic control for the next two years.
“Last night was a whirlwind, and it’s going to take me a couple of days just to sort of recognize what the larger consequences of this are,” he said. “I am still feeling this is an out of body experience right now.”
Casten’s campaign was seen as a bellwether for the party as a whole, as they sought to take back control of Congress in the midterm elections. Roskam, who had represented the district since 2007, went against President Donald Trump on his border security stances, and the president called out the congressman during a press conference Wednesday.
“He didn’t want the embrace,” Trump said.
Now, with the election behind him and with the job of serving in Congress ahead of him, Casten knows that there are a lot of priorities he will have to juggle as he heads to Washington.
“People want to protect Obamacare, and I would hope that would be a priority of the whole elected delegation coming in,” he said.
Casten’s new constituents also hope that he will represent them well in Washington, and hope that he will be able to reach across the aisle to fulfil some of his campaign promises.
“I am pretty confident that things should change a little, especially for Illinois,” one voter said.