U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd) addresses the crowd at her election night headquarters Tuesday night in Countryside. Newman lost to U.S. Rep. Sean Casten in the redrawn 6th Congressional District primary race. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

U.S. Rep. Marie Newman (D-3rd) addresses the crowd at her election night headquarters Tuesday night in Countryside. Newman lost to U.S. Rep. Sean Casten in the redrawn 6th Congressional District primary race. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Casten rolls to decisive victory over Newman in 6th Congressional Dem battle

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By Joe Boyle

U.S. Rep. Sean Casten emerged as the decisive victor in the Democratic primary race for the newly drawn 6th Congressional District Tuesday night.

With 97 percent of the vote registered and 221 of 227 precincts reporting, Casten had an unofficial tally of 13,440 votes for 53.90%. Newman had 10,545 votes for 42.29% percent as of late Tuesday. Chicago resident Charles Hughes had 950 votes for 3.81% as of last night.

Newman has represented the 3rd Congressional District since assuming office on Jan. 3, 2021. She had defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski in the primary in 2020.

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U.S. Rep. Sean Casten

She came out to talk to supporters just after 9 p.m. Tuesday at her election night headquarters in Countryside and thanked them for their dedication and help.

“It is good to be with all of you,” Newman told the crowd and the media. “But we didn’t get the results we wanted. I have just called Sean to congratulate him on his victory. I want to give Sean my full support and ask that all of us come together and do the same.”

It was in many ways a bittersweet victory for Casten, whose daughter, Gwen Casten, 17, was found dead in her bed on the morning of June 13 in the family home. Casten and his wife and another daughter have been mourning her passing since. The cause of her death is still not known.

“To the voters since 2018, you have given me a tremendous amount of trust to represent your values in Congress,” Casten said in a statement. “I am forever grateful, and you can expect more town halls and accessibility from my office.”

Casten was born in Dublin, Ireland, to American parents. In 2007, he co-founded Recycled Energy Development LLC. He was elected to Congress in 2018 and became the first Democrat to serve the 6th Congressional District in 50 years.

The scientist and clean energy job creator added that he has co-sponsored legislation in support of clean energy, women’s rights and universal health care.

Newman also supports women’s rights. Both Casten and Newman were endorsed by the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition.

Casten was criticized by Newman for not supporting the Green New Deal. Casten responded that the Green New Deal “understands the urgency but does not understand the complexity (of the problem).”

The House Ethics Committee has extended an investigation into claims that Newman promised a political rival a job so he would not run against her in the 2020 primary election. Newman has denied any wrongdoing.

The race between Casten and Newman occurred due to the congressional remap. With the remap taking place, Newman would have had to run in the new 4th Congressional District that had been drawn to serve a predominant Hispanic and Chicago-based population.

Newman then decided to run against Casten in the new 6th Congressional District, which takes in a large portion of the old 3rd District. Newman is currently living in LaGrange, which is now in the 4th Congressional District.

While disappointed with the defeat, Newman said she was proud of her accomplishments.

“I was proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act of 2021 to boost the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and the Protecting the Right To Organize Act, which will enhance workers’ rights, making it easier for workers to collectively bargain for better pay, safer working conditions, and better benefits,” Newman said.

“We also have brought more money back to this district than any other congressman before us,” Newman told the crowd. “God bless you all.”

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