Democrats maintain leads in blue suburban congressional districts
Democrats were holding onto leads in some heavily blue suburban congressional districts, according to early returns Tuesday.
That included incumbents Brad Schneider in the 10th District, Bill Foster in the 11th, Jan Schakowsky in the 9th, Mike Quigley in the 5th and Raja Krishnamoorthi in the 8th.
The early Democratic margins Tuesday night were enough for The Associated Press to declare winners in all those races.
More than 420,000 ballots mailed to voters who requested them in Chicago and the suburban collar counties had yet to be returned, though ballots postmarked by Tuesday will be counted if they arrive by Nov. 17.
According to unofficial returns, Schneider, of Deerfield, had 139,196 votes to 92,622 for Republican Valerie Ramirez Mukherjee of Northbrook, with a quarter of precincts reporting votes cast on Election Day.
With barely any results in around 8:30 p.m. when Schneider spoke during his virtual election night party, the three-term congressman largely relied on his stump speech to fire up supporters.
"We have a chance to restore America, and I know that we can do it because I have seen what we have done here in the 10th District over the last two decades," he said.
Ramirez Mukherjee is a first-time candidate. The district includes parts of Cook and Lake counties, stretching from Lake Michigan into the North and Northwest suburbs.
Foster, of Naperville, had 181,896 votes to 107,466 for Republican Rick Laib, of Joliet, with all precincts reporting, unofficial results show.
"I'd trade a little bit of my vote margin to contribute to the (presidential race) if I could," Foster joked on a Zoom call with nervous supporters who were also watching the national returns.
But locally, they celebrated gains Democrats have made in the suburbs in recent years. Foster has held the 11th District seat since 2012. It includes parts of DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties.
Schakowsky defeated GOP challenger Sargis Sangari by a 2-to-1 ratio in her bid to retain a seat she's held since 1998. According to unofficial results, Schakowsky, of Evanston, had 177,022 votes to 85,070 for Sangari, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel from Skokie. The district covers much of the North Shore but also stretches into the Northwest suburbs.
Quigley easily defeated Republican Tommy Hanson by a 197,018 to 82,289 margin, with nearly all precincts reporting, in what was a rematch of their 2018 contest.
Green Party candidate Thomas J. Wilda had 7,248 votes, according to the unofficial results. The district is centered on Chicago's North Side but stretches to suburbs including Rosemont, Des Plaines and Elmhurst.
Krishnamoorthi, of Schaumburg, coasted to a third term, as the GOP didn't field an opponent. He led Libertarian Preston Nelson of Elgin 135,999 to 58,307 votes with almost all precincts in. The district includes much of Northwest suburban Cook and parts of DuPage and Kane counties.