Federal Candidates - Upcoming Elections

1st Congressional District

Bobby Rush

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Congressman Bobby L. Rush has spent most of his life fighting for everyday people. He believes that the constitutional promise of equality, liberty, and justice for all Americans must be upheld to make our nation strong. He has represented the First Congressional District of Illinois for almost two decades. Rush’s life story is truly an American story. He was born in Albany, Georgia on November 23, 1946. It was a time of terror and random violence against African-Americans living in the south. Eight months after Rush’s birth, historians report that a white mob tied two black couples to a tree and killed them in a hail of gunfire. It happened in a rural Georgia county north of Rush’s birthplace. The brutal murders, known as The Moore’s Ford Bridge Case, led President Harry Truman to push for sweeping civil rights changes and the desegregation of the military. It was the last documented mass lynching in the United States. The nation was on the cusp of change.

He and his wife of 31 years, Carolyn, have a blended family with six children including a son who lost his life to gun violence in 1999. U.S. Rep. Bobby L. Rush is a transcendent American leader who keeps his legislative and policy interests sharply focused on the needs of his constituents — especially the most vulnerable. He believes in the redemptive power of the human spirit. He believes in human ingenuity and tenacity. He knows the power of a made up mind. As a member of Congress, Rush stands on the shoulders of a long line of patriots and public servants who have gone before him and who are ardent believers in our Constitution. His life is an example of our nation’s fundamental promise and his work reflects a deep determination to bend the arc of government resources and innovation towards the needs of every American — whether they live on our nation’s main streets or its side streets.

Accomplishments:

  • Rush’s track record of leadership on energy issues and his support for small business while serving as an alderman in the Chicago City Council paved the way for him to gain a seat on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee in his second term.

  • Rush’s attention to detail in crafting national legislation inspired his peers to elect him Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection during the 111th Congress. Under Rush’s watch, important pieces of legislation became law including the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-314). Signed into law by President George W. Bush, this statute is a landmark piece of legislation that provided an effective congressional response to an unprecedented wave of consumer product safety recalls between 2006 and 2007.

  • Key pieces of legislation that Rush crafted surrounding postpartum depression, women’s health (Sec. 2951 and Sec. 2952 of Subtitle L), and prescription drug offsets (Sec. 7101 and Sec. 7102 of Subtitle B) were adopted in the landmark health care legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148), signed into law by President Barack Obama.

  • Because of Rush’s leadership over the years on a range of small business issues and community-based lending, Rush was chosen to serve as a conferee as part of the final, bipartisan deliberative process that led to the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (P.L. 111‑203). Rush fought hard to help ensure that low-income and middle-class consumers would never again fall prey to the ill-conceived, predatory financial practices that led to the near epic collapse of U. S. financial markets in 2008.

2nd Congressional District

Robin Kelly

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Congresswoman Robin Kelly has dedicated her career to public service as an advocate for Illinois families. Since being elected to serve the 2nd Congressional District in 2013, she has worked to expand economic opportunity, community wellness, and public safety across the state, championing numerous initiatives to generate job growth, reduce health disparities, and end gun violence. Congresswoman Kelly is a Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (the main investigative body of the House), and serves as the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Information Technology, where she has focused her efforts on improving cyber-security, strengthening IT-infrastructure, and encouraging new and emerging technologies. Kelly also serves on the Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on Health Care, Benefits, and Administrative Rules.

As the senior Illinois representative on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the Congresswoman has laid out a forward-thinking foreign policy vision for the United States and has been an outspoken proponent of diplomacy, international human rights and the need for clear and thoughtful American leadership abroad. A staunch champion of common sense gun reforms and responsible community policing, Representative Kelly is a Co-Chair of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Taskforce, was tapped to sit on the House Task Force on Community-Police Relations, and is the author of The 2014 Kelly Report on Gun Violence in America, the first-ever Congressional analysis of the nation's gun violence epidemic that offers a blueprint for ending the crisis.

Committed to improving the health and wellness of vulnerable communities across the country, the Congresswoman serves as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, and Co-Chairs the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls. She also Co-Chairs the House Democratic Budget Group and Congressional Diversifying Technology Caucus. Prior to her election to Congress, Kelly was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives, served as Chief Administrative Officer of Cook County (the second largest county in the United States) and was Chief of Staff to Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias - becoming the first African American woman to serve as Chief of Staff to an elected constitutional statewide officeholder. The daughter of a small business owner and postal worker, Congresswoman Kelly moved to Illinois after high school to attend Bradley University in Peoria, where she earned her B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in counseling. She later received a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University. She lives in Matteson with her husband, Dr. Nathaniel Horn, and has two adult children, Kelly and Ryan.

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3rd Congressional District

Dan Lipinski

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Dan’s interest in community service and policy activism began at an early age. When he was 12 years old, he got together with some friends to create a petition to collect signatures asking the Japanese government to change their laws so that Japanese fishermen were not allowed to kill dolphins as they were catching for tuna. At that time there was no such thing as "dolphin safe" tuna. They gathered signatures at Brookfield Zoo, in front of Jewel, and elsewhere, and then sent them to the Japanese Embassy in Washington. Dan knows he was only one very tiny player in bringing about change, but when you buy a can of tuna in the store today it usually says "dolphin safe." Dan graduated from St. Symphorosa Elementary School on the Southwest Side of Chicago. He played Clear Ridge Little League baseball for 8 years and served as an altar boy at St. Symphorosa. In 1984 Dan graduated with honors from St. Ignatius College Prep, continuing his interest in government and community service by getting elected to the Student Council, tutoring with the Community Tutoring Alliance, and lettering on the Student Congress team.

In 1988, Dan graduated Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern University in Evanston, with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering. In his junior year he was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the national engineering honor society. In addition to other activities, he served as president of the International Policy Forum and three times participated in Dance Marathon, raising money for various charities. Following Northwestern, Dan went on to earn a Master of Science Degree in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University. Next, he was recruited to work for six months in Zurich, Switzerland as a Systems Analyst for Swissair. Upon returning, Dan worked in Washington, DC for the House of Representatives Administration Committee and then for the Illinois General Assembly Office of Intergovernmental Relations. Having gained these experiences working overseas and in government, Dan attended graduate school at Duke University. In 1998 he was awarded his Doctoral Degree in Political Science. During work on his dissertation, Dan took time off to serve as Director of Communications Research for Dick Devine’s first successful run for Cook County State’s Attorney in 1996. After graduating from Duke, the American Political Science Association awarded Dan a Congressional Fellowship, during which time he worked on issues for House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt in the Democratic Policy Committee. Following this, Dan taught Political Science as an Assistant Professor at the University of Notre Dame and the University of Tennessee. Dan was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 4, 2004, and was sworn in to begin his first term in the 109th Congress on January 4, 2005. He has subsequently been reelected every two years and is currently in his fourth term.

Born and raised in the Southwest Side "Bungalow Belt" near Midway Airport, Dan is a proud native of Illinois’ Third Congressional District, which he has represented since being elected in 2004. He currently resides in the west suburban portion of the district in Western Springs with his wife, Judy.

Accomplishments:

  • As Northeastern Illinois’ only member of the powerful House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Lipinski has worked tirelessly to improve America’s transportation system, including more funding for roads, mass transit, rails, and airports. He has also been the leading advocate for the CREATE rail modernization program, a public-private partnership to reduce rail and road congestion throughout the Chicago region; in the last federal surface transportation bill he secured $100 million for this program and then helped produce the agreement for the three-year, $330 million first phase of CREATE. Dan has also brought another $27 million to the district for other transportation projects. He has also helped to maintain the vitality and safety of Midway Airport which is in his district. Dan has helped secure more than $30 million for safety enhancements at the airport. Dan serves on the two Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittees: Aviation, and Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials.

  • Dan also serves on the Committee on Science and Technology where he sits on two subcommittees, Research and Science Education, and Technology and Innovation. At the beginning of the 111th Congress – because of his experience as a college professor and his background as one of less than a dozen engineers in Congress – Dan was selected to be Chairman of the Research and Science Education Subcommittee. Again at the start of the 112th Congress he was chosen to serve as the top Democrat on this subcommittee. He has focused his work on improving the economic competitiveness of America, especially by increasing support for top-notch scientific research, facilitating technology transfer from the lab to market in order to create jobs locally and nationally, improving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, and promoting the development of green jobs in America.

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11th Congressional District

Bill Foster

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Bill Foster is a scientist, businessman, and Democrat who represents Illinois’ 11th Congressional District, which spans the Chicago suburbs, including parts of Will, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Cook Counties. Between 2008 and 2011, Bill represented Illinois’ 14th District after winning the seat held by Dennis Hastert in a special election

Bill came to Illinois in 1984 to raise his family and to pursue a scientific career at Fermilab, home of the world's most powerful particle accelerator. During his 23 years at Fermilab, he participated in leading-edge scientific research, designed and built state-of-the-art physics experiments, and led teams of people to help build Fermilab's giant particle accelerators. Bill continues working to ensure scientific research and development remains a priority in Congress.

When he was 19, Bill and his younger brother started a business from scratch in their basement. Starting with $500 from their parents, they built a company that now manufactures over half of the theater lighting equipment in the United States and provides hundreds of good jobs - with good pay and benefits - here in the Midwest.

Accomplishments:

  • During his first three years in Congress, Bill voted to ensure Illinois families have access to affordable health care and protection from abusive credit card and mortgage practices. He was active on the Financial Services Committee and helped write the Dodd-Frank reform legislation.

  • Since returning to Congress, Bill rejoined the Financial Services committee and serves on "Capital Markets and Government-Sponsored Enterprises" and "Domestic and International Monetary Policy and Trade" subcommittees. He also serves on the Committee on Science, Space and Technology where he provides a voice for reason as the only remaining Ph.D scientist in Congress. In addition to his committee roles, Bill has been a strong advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, STEM education, tax reform, LGBT rights and protecting women’s health care choices.

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Candidate - 14th Congressional District

Lauren Underwood

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Lauren Underwood grew up in Naperville, Illinois where she earned her first Girl Scout badge and attended Neuqua Valley High School. On her first day in Girl Scouts, Lauren made the pledge “to help people at all times.” Those early lessons in leadership formed a foundation of service that continues to guide her now as she looks to serve in a different way, representing Illinois’ 14th District in Congress.

During a swimming lesson when she was 8 years old, Lauren discovered that she had a heart condition, supraventricular tachycardia, which occasionally prevents her heart from maintaining a normal rhythm. The providers that helped Lauren through her initial treatment made a lasting impression and inspired her career in nursing. As an American with a pre-existing condition, Lauren also understands the real-life importance of quality, affordable health care for working families and their children.

Lauren is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University.

Accomplishments:

  • Today, Lauren Underwood is a registered nurse, with hands-on experience in America’s healthcare industry. Lauren was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). During her time in the administration, Lauren helped communities across the country prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterror threats and public health emergencies. As a career public servant at HHS, Lauren helped implement the Affordable Care Act — broadening access for those on Medicare, improving healthcare quality and reforming private insurance.

  • Lauren will bring her firsthand knowledge to Washington and work to propose measures that will preserve and expand access to healthcare for Illinois families. Lauren currently works with a Medicaid plan in Chicago. Every day, Lauren works with clinical staff to ensure the plan provides high-quality, cost-efficient care. Lauren is also a teacher, preparing future nurse practitioners through Georgetown University’s online master’s program.

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P.O. Box 4242 | Joliet, IL 60434 | Email: members@willcountydemocrats.com

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