Democrat Lauren Underwood has unseated four-term Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren, becoming the first minority and first woman to represent a Chicago-area district once held by GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
The Naperville nurse, who's African-American, flipped the seat representing rural and suburban areas west and north of Chicago. It was among four GOP-held Illinois congressional seats Democrats were targeting in their effort to win House control.
Underwood highlighted the historical nature of her win in her acceptance speech, recalling that Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American woman in Congress, was elected 50 years and one day prior.
"When Congresswoman Chisholm ran for president in the 1970s, she preclaimed that she was 'unbought and unbossed,' and I've adopted that declaration as my own unofficial model," Underwood said. "I aspire to be a bold representative for this community. Someone who is wholly responsive and accountable to her constituents: unbought and unbossed."
Underwood said she decided to take on Hultgren after he supported health care legislation that would have made coverage of pre-existing conditions more expensive. She criticized him for not holding town halls and for casting the health care vote after pledging to protect pre-existing conditions.