Congressional Candidate Lauren Underwood

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Democrat Challenger Underwood Defeats Incumbent Hultgren In 14th District

November 06, 2018 - 8:35 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Democratic challenger and political newcomer Lauren Underwood has defeated Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren in the Naperville area Congressional race.

Underwood, a nurse and former adviser to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, won in her first contest pitting her against the three-term incumbent Hultgren, according to the Associated Press. With more than 93 percent of precincts reporting at 10 p.m., Underwood secured 51 percent of the vote to Hultgren's 48 percent. 

She will be the first woman of color to represent the suburban Chicago district.

Underwood told supporters that her victory shows that Americans deserve better and that real change is on the way. 

"When I travel to Washington, I will take your voices and your values with me," she said. "I am your representative. I work for you and I cannot wait to get started."

LIVE: Up-To-The Minute Election Results

The election tested the popularity of President Donald Trump in a district that Hillary Clinton won by 4 percent in 2016. It was the second Illinois Congressional District of the night to flip from Republican to Democrat, with Sean Casten taking down Republican incumbent Peter Roskam.

"On this night, we made history," Underwood said before thanking supporters at her campaign rally. "You stood up and you declared that this community deserves better."

The Illinois 14th Congressional District race was one of the more closely watched races of the 2018 mid-terms, as polls showed Underwood with a fighting chance in the Republican stronghold. Underwood drew national support, and outspent her incumbent opponent, according to reports. Ice cream makers Ben and Jerry even made a new flavor for the Democratic challenger.

RACE PREVIEW:  Hultgren vs. Underwood

Hultgren, who was first elected to the U.S. House in 2010, had big-name Republicans turn out to help his re-election effort. House Speaker Paul Ryan stumped in his district, and Hultgren joined President Donald Trump on stage at a campaign rally stop in Southern Illinois. 

Former vice president, Joe Biden, stumped for Underwood in her district. 

Underwood campaigned heavily on health care issues and slammed Hultgren over his support of Donald Trump.Hultgren stressed that voters were responding to the success of the GOP’s economic agenda and Trump’s tax cuts, but his Democratic challenger Underwood said many in the middle class feel left out of this economic boom.