Lauren Underwood won election to Congress this past November in Illinois 14th Congressional District. She had won the Democratic primary in March 2018 with 57 percent of the vote against six opponents. In November, she defeated Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren by just over 10,000 votes in a tight election. When she takes office on January 3, at the age of 32, Underwood will be the youngest Black women to have ever served in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Underwood is a native of Ohio but grew up in Naperville, Illinois. She is a registered nurse and worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. While in Washington, Underwood taught advanced practice nursing students as an instructor at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies.
Underwood is a graduate of the University of Michigan, where she majored in nursing. She earned a master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Among Underwood’s top priorities when she comes to Washington is to tackle the student loan debt crisis. She stated that “I support increased funding for Pell grants, increased availability of affordable subsidized student loans, and the continuance of the public service loan forgiveness program. Higher education should not be a privilege of a certain class of people.”