Illinois Congresswoman Sean Casten announced Monday night that his 17-year-old daughter Gwen has died.†
“The Casten family asks for privacy and we will not comment at this heartbreaking time,” Casten’s office said in an email.
Shortly before Casten’s congressional office announced his daughter’s death, Casten’s campaign asked all Illinois TV stations to immediately take his campaign spots off the air until further notice.
Casten, 50, a Democrat from Downers Grove, is running for his third term in Congress in the newly elected 6th district, which he has represented since defeating incumbent Republican Congressman Peter Roskam in 2018.
Casten takes on fellow incumbent Rep. Marie Newman, a freshman, and Nicor surgery technician Charles Hughes.
“My heart breaks for the Casten family for the devastating loss of their daughter. My prayers are with Sean, Kara and the entire Casten family,” Newman said in a statement.
Newman also immediately suspends all of her campaign ads.
Newman chose to challenge Casten in the 2022 primaries after the congressional-approved remap, passed by Democratic majority in the state capital of Springfield, placed her in the heavily Hispanic 3rd district, represented by Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.
Hughes, who is also a former candidate for alderman in Chicago’s 23rd borough, took on Newman in the state’s 3rd congressional district in 2020, but he finished in a distant fourth place with just 2.3% of the vote in that race.
Representatives from Hughes’ campaign were not immediately available for comment.