IL-14: NBC Summarizes Candidacies


14th District GOP Candidates.

In 2018, Democrats eyed Illinois’ 14th District as a potential long shot pick-up in their bid to take back the House.

Rep. Lauren Underwood proved she was up to the task, ousting longtime incumbent Rep. Randy Hultgren in a stunning upset.

Underwood won by 5 points in a highly competitive suburban battleground race, making her the first African-American, the first woman and the first Millennial to ever represent the district.

This time around, the tables have turned and Republicans are the ones lining up to be the one to take Underwood on in November.

Containing parts of McHenry, Kane, Lake and Will counties, among others, the district was long a Republican stronghold – represented from 1987 to 2007 by Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican Speaker of the House who served a prison sentence in connection with a hush money scheme to hide his history of sexually abusing young boys.

President Donald Trump won the district by 4 points in 2016, which was down from Mitt Romney’s 10-point margin of victory four years earlier – but a victory nonetheless.

With Trump at the top of the ticket again this year, seven Republicans jumped into the primary race with hopes that the presidential re-election campaign might buoy Republican efforts to win the district back.

The candidates include: Anthony Catella, Jerry Evans, Ted Gradel, Catalina Lauf, Jim Marter, Jim Oberweis and Sue Rezin.

Catella is an Army veteran and former priest, he said in a letter announcing his candidacy, as well as a Republican precinct committeeman in St. Charles Township.

Evans, of Warrenville, is the founder and director of the Jerry Evans School of Music in Wheaton.

Gradel is a financial futures trader from Naperville who also coaches girls youth basketball.

Lauf, of Woodstock, is the youngest candidate in the race. She works for her father’s small business after a stint as a Trump-appointed advisor to the U.S. Department of Commerce, and worked for Uber before that.

Marter is a software business consultant from Oswego who previously chaired the Kendall County Republican Central Committee and unsuccessfully tried to primary then-Sen. Mark Kirk from the right in 2016.

Oberweis is an Illinois state senator from Sugar Grove, in office since 2013. He chairs his family’s Oberweis Dairy business, purchasing it more than 30 years ago after starting a career in finance. A perennial candidate, Oberweis has run for U.S. Senate three times since 2002, governor in 2006 and Congress in 2008. He’s used his considerable wealth to fund campaigns in the past, and this race is no different, as he’s loaned his campaign $1 million in the past year – making him by far the most well-funding GOP candidate.

Rezin, of Morris, is also a state senator, serving as an assistant Republican leader in the legislature’s upper chamber. She touts her record of winning legislative races, but Rezin lives just outside the district’s boundaries, in the 16th Congressional District – though her state Senate district has some overlap with the 14th.

All seven of the candidates are painting themselves as fairly hard-line conservatives, some more than others, but with many explicitly hanging their hats on Trump support in an effort to emerge from the GOP primary victorious.

The winner will face Underwood in November in a race that’s sure to draw national attention.


IL-14: NBC Summarizes Candidacies — 5 Comments

  1. That WMAQ article is worth the read. It covers a lot of other contests besides the 14th district.

  2. MARTER is smarter and is 100% Conservative, Trump supporter and honest.

    No fluffing up the resume.

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