MATTOON — Republican Mary Miller was projected to win the 15th Congressional District of Illinois over Democrat Erika Weaver, according to The Associated Press.
With 76% of precincts reporting, Miller received 171,005 votes to Weaver’s 62,649 votes. AP called the race at about 10:10 p.m. Tuesday.
Miller will succeed U.S. Rep. John Shimkus, R-Collinsville, who held the 15th seat since 2013 and spent 12 terms in Congress. He announced he would not be seeking re-election in August 2019.
In claiming victory late Tuesday, Miller said the success of her campaign was “a total team effort” and she thanked the voters and those who helped in the effort.
“As your Congresswoman, I’ll stand for our God-given constitutional rights, the rule of law and a culture of freedom,” Miller said in a statement Tuesday night. “I will fight for economic opportunities, including bringing manufacturing jobs home from overseas. I will always defend our religious liberties, our Second Amendment, and I will stand up for the right to life and our families here in Southern and Central Illinois.”
The 15th Congressional District includes 33 counties covering most of southeastern Illinois.
Miller of Oakland said her goals include defending the American values of family, faith and freedom — values she believes are under attack by the "radical left."
During her campaign, Weaver, a public defender and school board member from Mattoon, said she understands the difficulties families face regarding housing and food security and identified the district's priorities as healthcare, education and economic development.
Election night results are always unofficial, but the volume of mail-in ballots this year means it may take longer for some races to be decided.
Mail-in ballots that are postmarked by Tuesday must be accepted by local election authorities if they arrive by Nov. 17, and there were more than 500,000 mail-in ballots that had not been returned as of Monday.
The Illinois State Board of Elections will certify the results from local election officials on Dec. 4.
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Contact Kelsey Watznauer at (309) 820-3254. Follow her on Twitter: @kwatznauer.