Vice President Joe Biden formally endorsed Lauren Underwood on Monday in her bid to oust U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Plano, from his 14th District seat.
Underwood, a Naperville-based nurse, is the district’s Democratic nominee.
“Lauren Underwood has devoted her career to helping people in her community live healthy lives,” Biden said in a statement. “I’m inspired by her commitment to public service and thankful for her work to make high-quality, affordable health care available to millions of families across the country. Our health care is not the only issue on the ballot this fall. The Violence Against Women Act is up for reauthorization. We need representatives like Lauren, people of character and conviction, who will continue the work of changing the culture around sexual assault.”
Underwood said in a statement that she is “humbled and honored” by the high-profile endorsement.
“This race is about restoring real representation in Congress for the people of the
14th District. For too long, my opponent has actively voted against us: from voting to strip us of our health care coverage, supporting a corporate tax break on the backs of northern Illinois families and voting against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act authored by our former vice president,” Underwood said.
Underwood already has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama, the AFL-CIO Illinois, the League of Conservation Voters and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
Biden, who is rumored to be considering a 2020 presidential run, recently canceled a planned appearance in Illinois because he was sick and “under doctor’s orders not to travel,” according to state Democrats. He is 75 years old.
Last week, Underwood met with the Northwest Herald’s Editorial Board. She has made health care a central campaign issue – particularly defending patients with pre-existing conditions against repeals of Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Underwood suffers from a heart condition, and said she was upset with Hultgren’s support of President Donald Trump’s efforts to repeal the law. She said that inspired her to run for office.
“I see lowering prescription drug prices as one of the critical issues of the first 100 days,” she said. “It is my expectation that a bill would be brought to the floor of the House in that first 100 days of a Democratic administration.”