Endorsement: Daily Herald recommends Underwood over Hultgren in 14th Congressional District

 
Daily Herald Editorial Board
Updated 10/8/2018 7:17 PM
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  • Democrat Lauren Underwood listens to a question Friday during a Daily Herald endorsement interview with the 14th Congressional District candidates. Underwood wins the endorsement from the Daily Herald Editorial Board.

      Democrat Lauren Underwood listens to a question Friday during a Daily Herald endorsement interview with the 14th Congressional District candidates. Underwood wins the endorsement from the Daily Herald Editorial Board. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

Lauren Underwood likes to tell the story of how she came to know Randy Hultgren, the 4-term Republican congressman from Plano.

Hultgren, a critic of the Affordable Care Act, told the audience at an April 2017 forum that he wouldn't sign off on any Republican alternative to Obamacare if it denied people coverage for pre-existing conditions. Soon thereafter, he did just that.

This started her campaign to unseat Hultgren.

And she's earned the right to.

Underwood, 32, grew up in Naperville (with a pre-existing heart condition.)

She is a registered nurse who received degrees from the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University.

She served as a senior White House adviser to President Barack Obama on matters of public health emergencies, such as ebola, Zika, bioterrorism, hurricanes and wildfires.

While she was involved in the launch of the Affordable Care Act, she says there are ways to improve it, including making premiums more affordable to the middle class and negotiating with the drug companies to force prescription prices down.

We like Hultgren. We've supported him in the past. But he hasn't faced such a qualified challenger before.

Underwood is a centrist. She holds the positions you might expect of a Democrat on women's health issues, immigration, the Robert Mueller investigation and climate change, but doesn't go so far as to embrace the nationwide legalization of marijuana or withdrawing from intervention in world conflicts.

Her knowledge of issues across the spectrum is impressive. Her stances on the issues are reasonable.

Hultgren a reliable red vote in a district that by all accounts is turning purple. He's been a solid congressman, but not an exceptional one.

Underwood could be exceptional. We endorse her.

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