September 21, 2021

Obama endorses Underwood, Newman for Congress

Former President Barack Obama endorsed several candidates for Congress and state legislatures including two from the Will County area.

Obama announced his support Monday for Marie Newman, a Democrat running in the 3rd Congressional District and incumbent U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, in the 14th Congressional District.

"I’m proud to endorse this diverse and hopeful collection of thoughtful, empathetic, and highly qualified Democrats," Obama said in a statement. "Together, these candidates will help us redeem our country’s promise by sticking up for working class people, restoring fairness and opportunity to our system, and fighting for the good of all Americans – not just those at the top."

Underwood is running for reelection after first winning her seat in 2018. Republican State Sen. Jim Oberweis is challenging Underwood in the general election.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that we have a lot of work to do, and that's why my number one focus in Congress is making certain our families have access to the high-quality, affordable health care they need to stay safe and healthy," Underwood said in a statement.

The congresswoman also pointed to her work in the Obama administration preparing for public health emergencies as a senior adviser at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Newman is facing Will County Board member Mike Fricilone, R-Homer Glen, in the general election for the 3rd Congressional District. She defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, in the 2020 primary election last March.

"With so much at stake, it’s even more important that we all come together– that’s what makes this endorsement so meaningful," Newman said in a tweet.

Obama also endorsed U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, D-Downers Grove, for reelection in the 6th Congressional District and Betsy Dirksen Londrigan to election in the 13th District.

The former president also encouraged supporters to vote early this cycle.

The general election is scheduled for Nov. 3.

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz

Alex Ortiz is a reporter for The Herald-News in Joliet. Originally from Romeoville, Ill., he joined The Herald-News in 2017 and mostly covers Will County government, politics, education and more. He earned his bachelor's degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master's degree from Northwestern University.