Lauren Underwood on Stunning Upset Against 4-Term Congressman: ‘Together, We Have Built a Movement’by GDN Shared Post November 8, 2018
Lauren Underwood, a Democrat from Naperville, Illinois who has never held elected office, pulled off a stunning victory Tuesday, unseating four-term Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren to win a seat in Congress from Illinois’ 14th Congressional District.
Lauren A. Underwood (born October 4, 1986) is an American politician and registered nurse who is the U.S. Representative-elect for Illinois’s 14th congressional district, who will take office in January 2019.
After growing up in Naperville, Illinois, she received a degree in nursing from the University of Michigan and several Masters degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Underwood began her political career as a special assistant in 2014, was appointed as a Senior Advisor two years later, and was elected as a member of the United States House of Representatives in 2018.
Lauren Underwood grew up in Naperville, Illinois and attended Neuqua Valley High School, graduating in 2004. From 2003 to 2004, Underwood worked on the City of Naperville Fair Housing Advisory Commission. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan in 2008, where she took a course on nursing politics which she states “changed her life” and influenced her to join the health policy field. While there, she also joined the National Pan-Hellenic Council sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. She received her Master of Science in Nursing and Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in 2009.
Underwood was the Senior Director of Strategy & Regulatory Affairs at Next Level Health. She also served as an adjunct instructor for the Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies.
Underwood began working as a Special Assistant under President Barack Obama‘s administration in 2014. In 2016, President Obama appointed her as a Senior Advisor at the United States Department of Health and Human Services(HHS), where she worked to help implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, though she supports several policies to improve the act.
In August 2017, Underwood announced her candidacy in the 2018 elections for the United States House of Representatives in Illinois’s 14th congressional district. Her platform includes issues she summarizes as health care, jobs, and family, with focuses on mental health, infrastructure improvements, and paid family leave. She won the Democratic primary held on March 20, 2018, with 57% of the vote against six opponents. The general election was held on November 6, 2018 against incumbent Republican Congressman Randy Hultgren; she received endorsements from former President Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden. Underwood won the election with early estimates of 52% of the vote in a traditionally Republican district.