Gwen Casten, the 17-year-old daughter of U.S. Representative Sean Casten, died on Monday morning. Casten’s office announced the news of Gwen’s death in a statement, which said in part, “The Casten family requests privacy, and we will be issuing no further comment during this heartbreaking time.”
Downers Grove police responded to the Casten home at around 6:50 a.m. on Monday after receiving a call about an unresponsive female, according to reports from multiple news outlets. Upon arrival, first responders determined that the subject was deceased.
Gwen was a co-director for the Illinois chapter of March for our Lives, according to her Twitter bio. In February, her father’s campaign tweeted out a photo of the two of them, a petition in Gwen’s hand. The caption noted “Sean’s daughter will be voting in her first election and was able to sign the petition for her dad.” She had also recently appeared in a new campaign video for her father.
Casten had recently noted to CNN that his daughter Gwen had organized ”Stop The Bleed” training at her school, in which EMTs were brought in to train teenagers how to treat a gunshot wound.
Congressman Casten is running for re-election for the newly redrawn Illinois 6th District seat, in a bid for his third term. According to CBS2 Chicago, he asked all Illinois TV stations to pull his campaign spots off the air until further notice, shortly before the news of his daughter’s death was announced.
Casten is facing fellow incumbent U.S. Rep. Marie Newman in the Democratic primary for the 6th District. She released a statement Monday night saying “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.” CBS2 reports that Newman has also suspended all her campaign ads.
Charles Hughes is also in the running in the Democratic primary for the 6th District.
Naperville News 17’s Kim Pirc reports.
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