Ran in her home town: As you may have heard before. the world is full of good, decent people. One such person is Lauren Underwood, who was elected to the House in Tuesday's elections.
Underwood appeared on last night's Maddow Show. Rachel provides the background:
MADDOW (11/7/18): Lauren Underwood grew up in Naperville, Illinois. When she was 8 years old, she was diagnosed with a chronic heart condition. That's what made her want to become a nurse, watching her own caregivers back when she was a little kid.When Underwood was interviewed by Maddow, she noted that her district was formerly held by none other than Denny Hastert. How did she manage to win in this district? Underwood told it like this:
Lauren Underwood became a nurse. She ended up taking her nursing experience to the Obama administration, where she worked at the Health and Human Services Department helping to implement the Affordable Care Act.
Back home in Illinois, Lauren Underwood's congressman, Republican Randy Hultgren, voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and that's when things started to change in Lauren Underwood's life.
After the 2016 presidential election, with her hometown congressman voting to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, Lauren Underwood decided she would run for Congress. Thirty-two years old, never run for anything. She's from the 14th district in Illinois, which is a solid red part of the state, a Trump district.
Eighty-six percent of that district is white. Voters there have never sent a person of color to Congress. They have never sent a woman, either.
By all accounts, Lauren Underwood was a pipe dream to fill that seat held by the Republican who had voted to take away her health care. Until she wasn't. Last night, Lauren Underwood won. She turfed out a four-time Republican congressman, 20 years her senior, in a race everybody told her she would lose.
MADDOW: You were 30 years old when you decided to run for this seat. You are 32 now. You're going to be one of the youngest people elected to Congress. And as an African-American woman, as a woman of color, running in this district—I mean, that itself was such, it has to have been such a steep climb.Underwood took a good look around. This 86 percent district was, in fact, her home town!
I mean, I mentioned in the introduction, 86 percent white resident. You're running as a first time candidate, as a woman, as a young woman, as an African-American woman. I want to know whether or not that was daunting for you, whether that was a factor in terms of your confidence and in your game plan.
UNDERWOOD: Well, this is my community. It's my home. My family moved to Naperville when I was 3 years old. So, this is a community that taught me to be a black woman in the world. And so, I certainly never—it never crossed my mind that I was somehow not a good fit or unqualified to seek this seat and run for this position.
And so, I stepped forward. And with the help of so many women in our district, we were able to do what many folks had never imagined would be possible.
The world is full of good, decent people. It also includes many people of talent and obvious upbeat intention. Underwood is one such person.
You can see the person who accomplished this win in her interview with Maddow. As the interview came to an end, Maddow offered this:
MADDOW: Illinois Congresswoman-elect Lauren Underwood, it's such a pleasure to have you here. It was a joy to follow your campaign from across the country. And good luck to you.It was a joy to follow her campaign! Industry rules forced us to check:
Until last evening, Underwood's name had never never mentioned on the Maddow show.