2022 Election Primary

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy holds DeKalb concert for Lauren Underwood

Underwood stokes fears of abortion ban at DeKalb rally: ‘It’s a dark period in our country.’

U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, speaks to a crowd gathered in the Egyptian Theatre for her rally with Jeff Tweedy on Nov. 2, 2022, six day before the 2022 general election.

DeKALB – Days before the Nov. 8 general election, Jeff Tweedy of the Chicago-based rock band Wilco visited DeKalb to headline a rally in support of incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood as she defends her congressional seat.

It’s Underwood’s third stop in DeKalb County over the past week as she rallies voters six days before the polls open Tuesday. Underwood, a Naperville nurse rallying to keep representing Illinois’ 14th District, attended Sunday’s Sycamore Pumpkin Festival parade and a Halloween trick-or-treating event at University Village in DeKalb recently.

Underwood used Wednesday’s rally at the Egyptian Theatre in downtown DeKalb to paint the Republican party as “increasingly extreme” and “radical,” she said.

“It’s a dark period in our country,” Underwood said. “It’s a dangerous time to be a woman, and these mad Republicans are salivating at the idea of taking over the Congress next week.”

Underwood said Republicans “believe they are on the brink of a federal ban on abortion” and other rights could be taken away.

“Justice Clarence Thomas even threatened marriage equality and access to contraception,” Underwood said, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, which had protected abortion access under federal law. Abortion remains legal in Illinois however, according to state law, though many surrounding states have since banned the practice. The topic has remained a fervent debate point among partisans as the election draws near.

Underwood, joined by several Democratic candidates from DeKalb County local races, spoke to a crowded theater who’d gathered to also listen to a performance by Tweedy. Tweedy is known for being the singer and guitarist for Chicago alternative rock band Wilco.

On Nov. 2, 2022 Jeff Tweedy sings in the Egyptian Theatre in DeKalb, Illinois as a part of a rally for U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, ahead of the 2022 general election.

Tweedy, a producer on Trampled By Turtles’ new album, Alpenglow, played and sang for the sizable crowd for 40 minutes – occasionally giving his two cents on politics between songs.

“Please do everything you promised to do,” Tweedy said. “Everybody that gets involved is so important. Voting isn’t enough anymore.”

Underwood described Tweedy as warm, someone committed to democracy and who shared her values.

“It’s great to be able to welcome someone who can connect with people differently, right, you know through music, and inspire them to participate in this election,” Underwood said backstage before the rally started.

Underwood said her campaign is focused on increasing voter turnout in the final days of the race.

A crowd gathered in DeKalb's Egyptian Theatre on Nov. 2, 2022 to hear U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, speak before a set from Illinois musician Jeff Tweedy.

Kendall County Board Chairman Scott R. Gryder who is running against Underwood for Illinois’ 14th District congressional seat was in Naperville Sunday to meet with potential voters. Gryder also attended the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival parade Sunday.

“I had a wonderful end to the weekend meeting with concerned voters in Naperville!” a social media post from Gryder’s campaign page posted Monday. “They have had enough with high taxes and record high inflation and are hungry for change!”

This week, Gryder’s campaign social media posts targeted his opponent, calling Underwood “just another Pelosi-Biden rubber stamp.”

“She supports defunding the police and high government spending,” Gryder’s campaign wrote. “Radical Leftists like Underwood don’t deserve to be in Congress.”

Polls will open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday for Illinois voters. The day will also mark a state holiday for the first time.

The newly-redrawn 14th Congressional district includes portions of DeKalb, Kendall, Kane, LaSalle, DuPage and Will counties in northern Illinois.