Two Democrat Incumbents Face Off in Primary, Making IL-6 a Race to Watch

Sean Casten and Marie Newman

Two Democrat incumbent members of the U.S. House are running against each other in a primary for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, leaving an opening for a possible Republican pickup in November.

Representatives Sean Casten (D-IL-06) and Marie Newman (D-IL-03) are set to face off in the June 28 Democrat primary.

Illinois redistricting process put Casten and Newman in the same district. Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gives IL-6 a partisan rating of D+6, which is slightly better than the D+7 rating it had prior to redistricting. The Cook Political Report gives the race a “Lean Democrat” rating.

A D+6 district is presumed on the outer edges of possibility for Republican takeover, but the Democrat intraparty squabble combined with the national mood and the fact that midterms historically have favored the minority in the U.S. House, makes this a district to watch.

Casten has served in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2019, while Newman assumed office in 2021. FEC records show that Casten has raised $1,901,304.67 for his reelect and has $1,580,171.15 on hand. Newman had raised $1,028,132.76 and had $573,120.22 in the bank as of the December 31, 2021 deadline. Newman unseated former U.S. Rep. Daniel Lipinksi in the 2020 IL-3 Democrat primary and defeated the Republican in November.

Prior to Casten’s 2018 election, the old IL-6 has been in continuous GOP hands since 1975.

The House Ethics CommitteeNewman investigated after she admitted to signing a contract promising an anti-Israel and potential primary rival a job in her U.S. House office in exchange for the potential opponent not running against her in the primary. The contract also stipulated that Newman adopt several anti-Israel policy positions.

On October 15, 2021, the Office of Congressional Ethics found that this agreement may have constituted a de facto bribe. The matter was then referred to the House Ethics Committee.

Both are reliable votes for the Biden agenda. Casten votes with the Biden administration 97.2 percent of the time, while Newman has voted 100 percent in lockstep with the administration.

Finance reports show Orland Park Mayor and U.S. Air Force Veteran Keith Pekau and businessman, GOP Activist Rob Cruz as the current major candidates on the GOP side. The next finance reports are slated to come out in mid-April. Other candidates include Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, 2020 Republican primary candidate Cathy O’Shea, and attorney Scott Kaspar.

Pekau has raised $129,980.21 and has $110,262.40 on hand. Cruz has raised $111,099.60 and has $33,420.10 on hand. Financial information for the other GOP candidates is not yet available, as they filed their campaign documents with the FEC after the December 31, 2021 deadline.

On June 28, both Republicans and Democrats will decide on their nominee.

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Aaron Gulbransen is a reporter at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow Aaron on GETTR.



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