Republican businessman Jim Oberweis announced Thursday he is seeking a discovery recount in the seven counties that make up Illinois’ 14th Congressional District.
Incumbent Congresswoman Lauren Underwood is the projected winner of the contest between them to represent the district that is located west of the metro Chicago area and extends north to the Wisconsin state line. In a statement, Oberweis says his campaign has filed for a discovery recount in DuPage County and will be filing paperwork in the other counties.
"A discovery recount does not change a single vote, but it does allow us to see if the outcome might change with a full recount,” Oberweis said in the statement.
The tabulation of votes has Oberweis trailing Underwood by 5,356 votes, with more than 400,000 votes cast. Illinois election law allows parties in a closely contested race to seek a discovery recount.
The largely white district has historically been Republican. Underwood, who is Black, was the first woman and first minority to win the congressional seat once held by Republican former House Speaker Dennis Hastert. She ousted four-term Republican Randy Hultgren two years ago.
This year’s race between Oberweis and Underwood was among the most expensive in Illinois. Underwood raised more than $7 million, while Oberweis raised about $2.5 million.
Oberweis initially claimed victory, citing a slim initial lead. But Underwood overtook him as more absentee votes were counted. The election saw a surge in pandemic-driven mail voting.