Lauren Underwood Won Reelection So That's One More Shiny Nice Time Thing!
One more undecided congressional race from last week's election was settled today, as incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood was reelected to represent the 14th Congressional District in Illinois. Underwood won the seat in the heavily Republican district to the north and west of Chicago two years ago, and ran a close race against Republican state Rep. Jim Oberweis. Since winning the seat, which was once held by squicky Republican former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, Underwood has been a steady voice for healthcare in the House of Representatives, and now she can keep on being a badass for the people of her district.
The AP offers this sad paragraph about Oberweis, who has
been a state senator since 2013. He's previously run unsuccessfully for higher public office multiple times, including for U.S. Senate and Illinois governor. He owns Oberweis Dairy, which runs milk and ice cream stores.
Maybe he can invite Devin Nunes to visit.
The Affordable Care Act was a top issue in the campaign, with Underwood, a registered nurse before she ran for Congress, defending the program, which we suppose she's accustomed to by now, since saving Obamacare was also her signature issue in her winning 2018 campaign against former Congressman Randy Hultgren.
Oberweis, who called for repealing the ACA, which he called a "disaster," wasn't able to turn his support from Donald Trump into a win. Oberweis appeared onstage at one of Trump's rallies — in Wisconsin, logically enough — just a few days before the election.
In her first term, Underwood has already been a hell of a fighter for healthcare, organizing the the Black Maternal Health Caucus to tackle the tragedy of Black maternal mortality. Black moms die from pregnancy-related complications at four times the rate of white mothers. Underwood became entirely too familiar with the problem when her close friend, CDC epidemiologist Dr. Shalon Irving, died just three weeks after giving birth. The phenomenon remains among the most horrifying American public health crises, and will need attention even after COVID-19 is controlled.
Beyond that vital work, Underwood is also a key player in House Democrats' efforts to strengthen and expand the ACA, so now that she has another term, expect her to be a liaison of some sort to the incoming Biden administration.
You may also remember Underwood for that time she calmly and factually gave then-DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen holy hell over the psychological trauma inflicted on children taken from their parents as part of the family separation policy. Like the policy itself, Nielsen claimed she'd never heard of any such research, so Underwood set her straight on that.
REP UNDERWOOD: "From what I've heard today, I'm not sure if DHS was so negligent they didn't know how traumatic fam… https://t.co/8T6eIIU1IF— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar)1551890888.0
What we are saying is that we love Lauren Underwood and wish we had about ten to fifty more of her in the House and Senate, thank you very much.
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