October 22, 2020

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Illinois 6th District House election preview: Sean Casten vs. Jeanne Ives

  • First-term Rep. Sean Casten will face Republican Jeanne Ives in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District.
  • The district is located in northeastern Illinois and is home to parts of Lake, McHenry, Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties.
  • With $3 million in cash on hand, Casten has over six times more capital to spend approaching the election.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

 

First-term Rep. Sean Casten is looking to defend his freshly-won House seat against Republican Jeanne Ives in Illinois’ 6th Congressional District this fall. 

The candidates

Before going into politics, Casten primarily worked with companies associated with clean energy. He served as the president and CEO of Turbosteam Corporation, a company that works to lower greenhouse gas emissions by generating power from wasted electricity. He is the founder and former CEO of Recycled Energy Development, which attempted to find a profitable solution to wasted heat capture technologies.

In 2018, Casten defeated 6-term incumbent Rep. Peter Roskam to represent Illinois’ 6th Congressional District, one of the many Democrats who flipped suburban House seats back into Democratic hands that year. In Congress, Casten serves on the powerful House Financial Services Committee, the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, and the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. 

Ives, Casten’s challenger, is a veteran of the U.S. Army and former 3-term member of the Illinois House of Representatives. 

The district

Illinois’ 6th Congressional District is located in northeastern Illinois and includes portions of Lake, McHenry, Cook, DuPage, and Kane counties. The district is home to parts of West Chicago and some of Chicago’s western suburbs. Casten is the first Democrat to represent the district since Republican Rep. Harold R. Collier took office in 1973.

The district is one of a dozen nationwide that flipped from backing Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney in 2012 to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016. After backing Romney by over eight points in 2012, the district voted for Clinton over now-President Donald Trump in a 50-43 percent split.

The money race

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Casten has raised $3.8 million for his campaign – over twice as much as Ives with $1.6 million. Ives currently has only $502,000 in cash on hand remaining, widely trailing behind Casten who has $3 million on hand.

What experts say

The race between Casten and Ives is rated as “safe Democratic” by Inside Elections and The Cook Political Report and “likely Democratic” by Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

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