Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.) has secured her second term representing Illinois’s 14th Congressional District, fending off Republican Illinois state Sen. Jim Oberweis in a previously red district, the Hill reports.
Underwood, who flipped the seat in 2018, garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. The latest AP tally put her at 200,037 votes to Oberweis’ 195,749 votes.
Underwood is the youngest Black women ever to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. As ESSENCE previously reported, she is a registered nurse, and has worked as a Senior Health Advisor for the Department of Health and Human Services in the Obama administration.
President Donald Trump signed Underwood’s Lower Insulin Costs Now Act, which would make cheaper generic insulin available more quickly to those in need, into law last December. A second piece of legislation sponsored by the freshman congresswoman, which aimed to establish an electronic health record system across the Department of Homeland Security, was also signed into law.
“In my community, which is one that had been represented by Republicans for a long, long time, being able to work collaboratively with my Republican colleagues is something that my constituents were expecting,” Underwood told ESSENCE on her experience serving in congress. “And so being able to be effective as a legislator is something that we’re really pleased about.”
In response to news that she finally came out on top in this election to secure the win, Underwood said, “I am honored to be reelected to represent Illinois’ beautiful 14th District in Congress. This was a tough race under some very difficult circumstances, and I want to say thank you to my supporters, the voters, and our elections officials for their diligent work.
“We face urgent challenges as a community and a country. I remain focused on getting results: protecting our families, ensuring a robust economic recovery, and lowering the cost of health care. Whether you voted for me or not, I pledge to represent every member of this community. That’s my responsibility, and I take it seriously. It’s a privilege to bring northern Illinois voices and values to Washington and I can’t wait to build upon all that we’ve accomplished, together.”