Former VP Joe Biden rallies with congressional candidate Lauren Underwood

ST. CHARLES, Ill. (WLS) -- It's the final week before the election and the heavy hitters are coming out for candidates in critical races in Illinois.

Former President Barack Obama and House Speaker Paul Ryan will be traveling to Illinois in the days ahead. On Wednesday, former Vice President Joe Biden rallied with Lauren Underwood, who is looking to unseat Randy Hultgren in the 14th District congressional race.

It was the veteran Washington politician drawing cheers as he stumped for the suburban millennial newcomer.

"My name is Joe Biden and I'm here for my friend Lauren," Biden told the crowd of more than 1,000 people who packed the Kane County Fairground building in St. Charles for the rally. Biden was friendly and folksy as he talked about what is at stake November 6th.

"This election is about something bigger than politics, something more out there going on this time around the very character of our country, who we are, is on the ballot," Biden said.

He rallied with Underwood in the hopes of helping her defeat incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren.

"The polls show this race is a statistical tie, and you, each and every one of you can be the difference," said Lauren Underwood, (D) Candidate for 14th District.

On Saturday Hultgren rallied with President Trump in southern Illinois. He was not available today for comment.

Biden told the crowd that words do matter, from leaders on down, and he took a dig at the president and his usual rally rhetoric.
"Our opponents are not our enemies, they are our opponents. The press is not the enemy of the American people," Biden said.

Biden's presence is considered important in this race because Democrats believe he appeals to suburban women. And he painted a stark contrast Democrats want to portray between them and Republicans.

"We have to make it clear that the Democrats choose hope over fear, that we choose unity over division, that we chose allies over enemies, truth over lies," Biden said.

Underwood hoping the former Biden's support can put her over the top to victory.

"His presence certainly helps stir up more enthusiasm and excitement and helps to encourage people to head out and vote," Underwood said.

Hultgren was campaigning in Gurnee and not available for comment. On Friday, he will hold his own rally with House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Then, on Sunday, former President Obama will come to Chicago for a rally with JB Pritzker and many other Democrats, including Underwood.
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