|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Illinois's 6th district
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2019
|Preceded by||Peter Roskam|
Sean Thomas Casten
November 23, 1971
|Relations||Tom Casten (father)|
|Children||2 (1 deceased)|
|Education||Middlebury College (BA)|
Dartmouth College (MSEM, MS)
Sean Thomas Casten (born November 23, 1971) is an American businessman and politician serving as the U.S. representative for Illinois's 6th congressional district. The district covers portions of five counties in Chicago's western suburbs, including Wheaton, Palatine, and Barrington.
Born in Dublin, Ireland, to American parents, and raised in Hartsdale, New York, Casten earned a Bachelor of Arts in molecular biology and biochemistry from Middlebury College in 1993. He then worked for two years as a scientist at the Tufts University School of Medicine. In 1998, he earned a Master of Engineering Management and a Master of Science in biochemical engineering from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth College.
Casten began his career working at consultancy Arthur D. Little, where he did fuel chain analyses for the company's chemical engineering group. From 2000 to 2007, he served as the president and CEO of Turbosteam Corporation, which converted emissions from power plants into energy.
In 2007, Casten and his father, Tom Casten, founded Recycled Energy Development (RED). RED focused on recycling wasted energy and converting energy facilities to cleaner, more economic uses. RED attempted to make profitable use of waste heat capturing technology, an avenue of electricity generation that attracted interest from a number of startup companies looking to find a "breakthrough" in the technology. In 2015, an investor in RED sued the company, alleging mismanagement by Casten. Casten settled the lawsuit and sold the company in 2016; he said the allegations against him were untrue and were part of a hostile takeover attempt.
Casten was a founding chairman of the Northeast CHP Initiative, a nonprofit advocacy organization with a mission to advance policies that favor energy efficiency in the northeast United States. He also participated in crafting the bill that became the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program in the northeast United States that attempts to use market forces to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Casten announced his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives in Illinois's 6th congressional district in September 2017. He defeated six other contenders in the 2018 Democratic primary to become the party's nominee against six-term incumbent Republican Peter Roskam.
On November 6, 2018, Casten won the election, defeating Roskam by a margin of seven points.
This race was viewed as one that Democrats needed to win in order to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives for the first time since the 2010 elections. Illinois's 6th congressional district supported Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by about 7 percentage points in the 2016 presidential election. This was one of 25 GOP-held seats in the U.S. Representatives that Clinton carried in 2016; Democrats flipped 23 of them in 2018. Upon his swearing-in, Casten became the first Democrat to represent this district since it assumed its present configuration in 1949. The district had been numbered as the 10th from 1949 to 1967, and has been the 6th since 1967. The district is best known as the seat of former House Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde, who held it from 1973 until handing it to Roskam upon his retirement in 2007.
Casten was reelected in 2020, defeating former state legislator and gubernatorial primary candidate Jeanne Ives by seven points.
In 2022, Casten faces incumbent Representative Marie Newman, elected from Illinois's 3rd congressional district in the Democratic primary. The 2022 reapportionment overlapped the new 6th district with the former 3rd district. In the redrawn 6th district, 41% of voters are from Newman's former district and 23% from Casten's former district, according to calculations by Daily Kos.
As of September 2021, Casten had voted in line with President Joe Biden's stated position 97.2% of the time.
|Democratic||Becky Anderson Wilkins||4,001||5.97|
|Republican||Peter J. Roskam (incumbent)||146,445||46.42|
|Democratic||Sean Casten (incumbent)||82,909||100.00|
|Democratic||Sean Casten (incumbent)||213,777||52.82|
Casten and his wife, Kara, live in Downers Grove, Illinois.
On June 13, 2022, Casten announced on Twitter that his daughter, Gwen, had died at the age of 17.
Casten's father is businessman Tom Casten, with whom he has worked.
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