ENDORSEMENT: Lauren Underwood for Congress in 14th District

Underwood has earned, on her own merits, a return trip to Washington.

SHARE ENDORSEMENT: Lauren Underwood for Congress in 14th District
Lauren Underwood wears a dark pink long sleeved shirt and sits at a desk in her Congressional office.

The Sun-Times endorses Lauren Underwood for re-election in the 14th Congressional District.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Before Lauren Underwood of Naperville was elected to Congress in 2018, she was a nurse. In the two years since then, she has put that expertise to good use as a lawmaker, drafting bills — and getting a couple signed into law — to make health care less expensive and better.

Specifically, Underwood sponsored the Lower Insulin Costs Now Act, signed by the president last December, which made lower-cost, generic insulin available more quickly. She also was the lead sponsor of a bill to fund the increased use of electronic health records across the Department of Homeland Security, making it easier for DHS doctors to care for migrants in custody.

Our endorsement goes to Underwood, a Democrat. For a freshman legislator, she has been measurably effective, demonstrating a practical streak. Those two pieces of legislation had to get through a Republican-controlled Senate.

Electoral victories in 2018 by Underwood and another Illinois Democrat, Sean Casten, in swing congressional districts were key to the Democrats gaining control of the House. For that reason alone we might now favor Underwood’s re-election; the House has been an essential check on President Donald Trump and the Senate. But Underwood has earned, on her own merits, a return trip to Washington.

Underwood has been a knowledgeable defender of the Affordable Care Act, which could come under even greater Republican attack in the coming year if the Supreme Court shifts further to the right. And we support her more immediate efforts to pass legislation to require health insurance plans to cover common medications, devices and screenings used to treat common chronic illnesses without charging a copayment, coinsurance or deductible.

Underwood is opposed by state Sen. Jim Oberweis, chairman of Oberweis Dairy, whom we twice have endorsed in state races. Oberweis, of Sugar Grove, has been a creative Republican in the Democrat-controlled state Senate, working on non-ideological issues such as ending a ban on Sunday auto sales.

At heart, though, we’d say Oberweis is an apologist for Trump — and Capitol Hill has no shortage of Republican apologists for Trump.

We strongly urge a vote for Lauren Underwood.

14th Congressional District map, 2020 election

14th Congressional District map.

Illustration by Caroline Hurley

To read more Sun-Times endorsements, please go to suntimes.com/political-endorsements. For more information about this race and others, including candidate questionnaires, go to our Illinois voting guide. Our newspaper is owned by a group of civic-minded and, in some cases, politically active investors; for details, see our owner information page.

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

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