Lauren Underwood hopes to ride 'blue wave,' flip traditionally-red 14th District

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The congressional race in Illinois' 14th District will be one closely watched from across the country in next month's midterm election.

The congressional race in Illinois' 14th District will be one closely watched from across the country in next month's midterm election.

Democrat Lauren Underwood is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Randy Hultgren in a traditionally-Republican district that covers spans seven different counties comprised of suburbs, small towns and farm land.

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"We have a goal to be everywhere, all the time, throughout the district, whether it's in the soybean field in DeKalb County or beautiful lakes in Lake County," Underwood said.

Hultgren, 52, is running for his fifth term. He admits Underwood, 32, is his greatest challenger yet.

"We've known this is going to be tough and it's going to be very close and it's going to come down to who comes out to vote," Hultgren said.

Both candidates have been courting independent voters.

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Underwood is a registered nurse who worked as an adviser in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under the Obama administration. The Naperville native said she decided to run after she said Hultgren broke his promise and voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Underwood has also criticized Hultgren for supporting the Republican tax plan.

"Randy Hultgren votes with Donald Trump 96 percent of the time," Underwood said. "He's happy to sign off on policies that actively harm families in our district."

Hultgren doesn't deny his support for Trump.

"I give him a lot of credit with a growing economy, doing a lot of things he said he was going to do, tax reform and right-sizing regulation," he said. "I feel I'm the right fit for this district, someone who is center-right."

Underwood hopes she can ride the anti-Trump "blue wave" to victory.

"We've had the opportunity to make this race competitive in a way that it has not been in many, many years," she said.

This race has gained national interest because it's one that Democrats believe can be won to help regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Both candidates have benefited from lots of outside money.
Related Topics:
politicselectionelection 2018congresscongressional racedemocratsrepublicansaffordable care actLake CountyKane CountyMcHenry CountyDeKalb CountyKendall CountyDuPage CountyWill County
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