ST. CHARLES – Less than a week before the midterm election, former Vice President Joe Biden fired up voters during a rally Wednesday at the Kane County Fairgrounds for Democrat Lauren Underwood, who is running for U.S. representative in the 14th Congressional District against Republican Randy Hultgren, R-Plano.
“What Tuesday’s all about is we have to make it clear to the American people who we are as Democrats,” Biden said. “We have to make it clear that the Democrats choose hope over fear, that we choose unity over division, that we choose allies over enemies, truth over lies. ... If we stand for who we’ve always been, we will win on Tuesday, and we will take back this country.”
Grammy Award-winning blues musician Keb’ Mo’ also performed at the rally. Underwood, a registered nurse from Naperville, is running for Congress to ensure access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Hultgren has held the seat since 2010.
Underwood said she has a heart condition.
“It’s manageable, but it’s a pre-existing condition,” she said. “And as a child, I visited my pediatric cardiologist quarterly. And because of those visits, because of the copious attention and care that I received, I made a decision [to advocate for] that kind of care for others.”
This is Underwood’s first bid for elected office. Earlier this year, she was featured on the cover of Time magazine along with two other Naperville women – Valerie Montgomery and Anne Stava-Murray – who also are running for elected office for the first time.
“I’m not a politician; I’m a nurse,” Underwood said to thunderous applause from the 1,400 people attending the rally. “But even the politicians tell us that this is the most important election of our lifetime. But I honestly believe that this year. It’s true, because our health care is on the ballot. That’s why I’m here today. And that’s why I spent the last 14 months talking to voters across the seven counties of our 14th District.”
Biden said that more women are running for political office than at any other time in U.S. history.
“No one is more committed and capable than your next United States congressman,” he said, in talking about Underwood. “Health care is obviously a really important subject. But people don’t understand until they find themselves in a spot just how important it is.”