Some Republican hopefuls in 6th House race have doubts about Biden's 2020 win

June 1, 2022
3 minute read
Upper from left, Niki Conforti, Rob Cruz, Gary Grasso and lower from left, Scott Kaspar, Catherine A. O'Shea and Keith Pekau are the Republicans running in the 6th Congressional District primary in 2022.

by Russell Lissau

Although no proof of widespread election fraud in the 2020 presidential election has been uncovered, some Republicans running for Illinois' 6th Congressional District seat doubt whether Joe Biden legitimately won the Oval Office.

The six GOP candidates in the June 28 primary are Niki Conforti of Glen Ellyn, Rob Cruz of Oak Lawn, Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, Scott Kaspar of Orland Park, Oak Lawn resident Catherine A. O'Shea and Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.

The candidates were asked about the 2020 election and other issues in Daily Herald questionnaires and interviews.

Conforti initially sidestepped a question about the election, saying rehashing the past only further divides the country. When pressed, Conforti said she didn't know if Biden was legitimately elected.

"The 2020 election exposed vulnerabilities in our election process," she said. "I have seen enough data that brings the validity of that election into question and supports further investigation."

Kaspar said he recognized Biden took the oath of office and that Biden "currently serves as the president." But Kaspar, who repeatedly has visited former President Donald Trump's Mar a Lago resort in Florida during the campaign and has been backed by some Trump allies, wouldn't say the election was legitimate.

Kaspar also alleged "many states" violated the Constitution by changing how electors for the Electoral College are chosen. In fact, Trump supporters reportedly tried to overturn election results in seven states with alternate electors who had no legal power.

Cruz, in his questionnaire, declined to say if he thought Biden had been legitimately elected. In a follow-up interview, he said he didn't know -- but he acknowledged Biden is president.

"Everything has gone through the courts," Cruz said. "It's been certified."

O'Shea initially expressed doubt about the election results. But she subsequently acknowledged that then-Vice President Mike Pence certified the 2020 election results and that Biden was sworn into office.

"He is the legitimate president," O'Shea said.

Pekau recognized Biden as president and expressed no doubts about the results.

Despite saying the nation "will never know" if Biden was fairly elected, Grasso said he believes Biden legitimately won.

The newly redrawn 6th District includes much of the West and Southwest suburbs in Cook and DuPage counties.

The winner of the GOP primary will face one of three Democrats in the Nov. 8 general election. The Democratic candidates are two-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove; U.S. Rep. Marie Newman of La Grange, who now represents the 3rd District but lives near the new 6th District's boundary; and Chicagoan Charles M. Hughes.