With seven Democrats all espousing similar positions on almost all the key issues in the 14th Congressional District primary, the struggle for each candidate focused on how to nuance views in a way that stood out from the pack.
Lauren Underwood stood out as much for her detailed positions as for being the only woman and only racial minority in the contest. She walked away with an easy victory Tuesday night, tallying more votes than her six rivals combined. Underwood jumped out to a big lead with the very first batch of votes counted, collecting nearly 60 percent of all ballots cast. With so many other candidates in the race, the margin proved insurmountable.
"This moment would not have been possible without the incredible efforts of our volunteers and campaign staff," Underwood said in a news release. "This is about so much more than me, or even about the campaign -- this is about the people of the 14th district building a movement to reclaim our voice in Washington."
She will face Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren in November.
Unofficial vote totals with 319 out of 465 precincts reporting show Underwood receiving 57.5 percent of the vote. Montgomery Village President Matt Brolley sat in a distant second with 13.7 percent of the vote.
Underwood is a nurse and a health policy expert who served a senior adviser in the Department of Health and Human Services during former President Barack Obama's administration.
Underwood pledged to work to improve the affordablilty of prescriptions, remove barriers to accessing drug rehabilitation services and improve accountability, while decreasing fraud in the Medicare system. Underwood voiced support for financial regulations during the campaign, including strengthening the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She supports abortion rights. She believes the United States should sign onto international efforts to address climate change.
The 14th Congressional Districts includes parts of Lake, McHenry, Kane, DuPage and Kendall counties.