Democrat Sean Casten won the race for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District Tuesday night, NBC News projected, defeating incumbent GOP Rep. Peter Roskam in a high-profile and contentious election.
Casten earned 53.2 percent of the vote with 71 percent of precincts reporting as of 11 p.m., compared to Roskam’s 46.8 percent of the vote.
The race garnered plenty of national attention from the beginning, with implications well beyond its suburban boundaries. The district, largely in DuPage County, has been red for decades, represented by Rep. Henry Hyde from 1975 to 2007 and by Roskam for six terms since.
In 2016, Roskam held onto his seat even though presidential nominee Hillary Clinton won the district by 7 points over President Donald Trump - making Roskam a prime target for Democrats looking to take back the House.
Roskam's work as one of the architects of the GOP's tax reform bill and his votes to repeal Obamacare, plus criticism over his refusal to hold town hall meetings with constituents in person, have been among the issues that dogged him even before the general election.
That spurred seven candidates to jump into the Democratic primary race to unseat him, with Casten, a scientist and entrepreneur, emerging victorious.
Casten highlighted his experience working in the environmental and energy sectors and made access to healthcare one of his chief issues - running ads attacking Roskam over his votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Roskam launched an offensive against Casten as well, painting him as "another shady Illinois politician," tying him to House Speaker Michael Madigan and criticizing his record as a registered lobbyist, among other lines of attack.
But that wasn’t enough to carry Roskam over the finish line, as the so-called “blue wave” swept Casten to victory in an area that Democrats previously thought was untouchable.