Sean Casten

Democrat Casten Wins Primary, Will Face US Rep. Roskam

Democratic voters on Tuesday chose who they want to take on U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam in the race to represent Illinois' 6th Congressional District.

Scientist Sean Casten emerged from a crowded field to win the Democratic primary and a chance to challenge Roskam in November, the Associated Press reported. 

"From the day I first entered this race, I have been constantly inspired by the many Democrats who are committing their time and their talents to returning this congressional seat to the people of the 6th district," Casten said in a statement. "Today, I am deeply honored that the voters have chosen me to serve as their nominee to challenge Peter Roskam. Together, we can help to bring a Democratic majority back to the U.S. House of Representatives and halt Donald Trump’s assault on our democracy."

Roskam held onto his seat in 2016 even though Hillary Clinton won the district by 7 points in the presidential election, suggesting the veteran Republican could be vulnerable in the midterms and thus making him a high-profile target for Democrats.

Roskam's votes on tax reform and to repeal the Affordable Care Act, plus criticism over his refusal to hold town hall meetings with constituents in person, were among the issues that spurred seven candidates to jump in the Democratic primary race to unseat him.

With no clear frontrunner, they included: Rep. Bill Foster's former district chief of staff Carole Cheney, data analyst and former President Barack Obama's campaign staffer Ryan Huffman, Barrington Hills Plan Commissioner Kelly Mazeski, scientist and entrepreneur Sean Casten, co-owner of Anderson’s Bookshops and Naperville City Council member Becky Anderson Wilkins, regulatory attorney Jennifer Zordani, plus civil rights attorney and former educator Amanda Howland, who ran against Roskam in 2016.

Casten led the field in fundraising with over $900,000, but Mazeski was close behind heading into Election Day with $837,000. The Chicago Sun-Times endorsed Mazeski for her “consensus-building, bipartisan style, as evident by her ability for 18 years to work effectively as a Democrat in the heavily Republican Barrington area," while Cheney was the Tribune's pick for her "detailed perspective on how to represent Illinois constituents in Washington" and "firm grasp of policy"

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