Candidate Watch Illinois

Candidate Watch Illinois

IL-14: Lauren Underwood

Lauren Underwood for Illinois’ 14th District!

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lauren underwood for congressLauren Underwood is the first African-American woman to run in this outskirt of Chicago, having beaten six white, middle-aged men to win her primary. She’s facing Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren, who promised his constituents he wouldn’t vote for a healthcare bill that excluded protections for pre-existing conditions…but then did. At that point, Lauren decided it was game on.

A registered nurse who was tapped to be a senior health policy advisor for President Obama, she’s been in community service her whole life. Now, as the youngest black woman candidate running for Congress this year, Lauren is fierce in her desire to promote jobs, improve healthcare, and make childcare as well as higher education affordable.

Lauren’s got momentum, even in this 85% white district. Noting the political gains African Americans have made, she explains, “Now we are able to step forward and say, ‘Hey! I grew up in this predominantly white area and my family has been here for years. I’m a leader and I have ideas.’ The community rallies around [me] not because I’m Black, and not despite my race and heritage, but just because I’m a dynamic, compelling leader who shares [their] values.” Women in particular are rallying to her. Though leaning Republican, the district went Democratic in 2008 and 2010. Let’s help Lauren flip the district once again.


IL-6: Sean Casten

Flippable District Alert: Sean Casten for Illinois’ 6th Congressional District!

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castenThe Democratic Congressional candidate running in November for Illinois’ 6th District is Sean Casten, scientist and clean energy entrepreneur. Let’s help him turn the 6th blue!

The 6th District has been represented by Republican Pete Roskam since 2007. However, in 2016 Hillary Clinton bested Donald Trump by 7 points in the district. Now, the district has been targeted by the DCCC for their Red-to-Blue program.

Currently, pollsters rate the 6th as “tilts Republican” or “Republican toss-up.” This is a terrific pick-up opportunity for Democrats!

Sean has degrees in science and engineering from Middlebury and Dartmouth, and his career has focused on clean energy and developing new technologies. Besides a focus on climate change, Sean supports an assault weapons ban, is pro-choice, wants to formally approve DACA, and protect and expand the ACA. He supports LGBTQ rights and wants to increase opportunities for affordable education, including refinancing of student debt.

Sean is running against Republican Pete Roskam, who has consistently voted to repeal the ACA and is a social conservative who is anti- choice and anti-LGBTQ rights. He has derided climate change as “junk science,” is pro-NRA and votes with Trump 98% of the time, according to Swing Left.


IL-13: Betsy Dirksen Longdrigan

Strong woman challenging GOP incumbent: Betsy Dirksen Longdrigan for Illinois’ 13th Congressional District!

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londriganDemocrat Betsy Dirksen Londrigan is challenging Republican incumbent Rodney Davis. She’s a former staffer to Senator Dick Durbin and is endorsed by Emily’s List. Among the issues she supports are women’s issues; universal healthcare coverage; gun control; codification of DACA; protecting the environment; affordable education.

Watching Republicans try to dismantle Obamacare was what pushed her to run, having lived through her young son being in intensive care for weeks after an accident, and realizing the difficulties of healthcare. While the race is considered leaning Republican, it’s been targeted by the DCCC and Emily’s List, among others. Londrigan has deep Central Illinois roots and is a formidable fundraiser, so her chances are strong.


IL-12: Brendan Kelly

Flippable Race Alert: Brendan Kelly for Illinois’ 12th Congressional District!

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brendan kellyThe Democratic Congressional candidate running in November for Illinois’ 12th District is Brendan Kelly, US Navy veteran and State’s Attorney for St. Clair County, IL.

The 12th District has been represented by Republican Mike Bost since 2014. Prior to that, it was held by a Democrat. Pollsters are rating the 12th as “leans Republican” or “Republican toss-up.” This is another fantastic opportunity for Democrats to help take back the House!

Brendan has been State’s Attorney for St. Clair County since 2010. He is known for taking on political corruption cases, creating a children’s justice division to focus on domestic and child assault cases, and taking on cases against big pharmaceutical manufacturers, suing them for maximizing profits by deceiving patients about the dangers of certain prescribed opioids.

His priorities are reducing income inequality, ensuring healthcare for all, strengthening organized labor, and repairing crumbling infrastructure. He has advocated for stronger mental health and addiction services to combat the opioid epidemic, and has been outspoken about getting money out of politics.

Brendan is running against Republican Mike Bost, who has voted against equal pay for women. Bost has also offered full-throated support to repealing the ACA, privatizing Social Security and Medicare, and reducing government spending. He is a climate change denier whose signature issue is repealing environmental regulations that he claims hold back job creation.

WNDC can help this US Navy Veteran and principled State’s Attorney take back the 12th!