This district crosses outer Chicago counties including Kane, DeKalb, Lake and McHenry, and includes the cities Aurora, Geneva and Crystal Lake.
Rep. Randy Hultgren, a Republican from west suburban Winfield, has served the 14th since 2011 after defeating Democrat Bill Foster 51-45 percent in November 2010's midterm elections. From 1987 to 2007, the Republican-leaning district was repped by former GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert until his retirement. Demographically, its constituents are nearly 86 percent white and 12 percent Hispanic, and the average income is $78,000. Hultgren goes up against Democratic candidate Dennis Anderson, whom he previously defeated in 2012's general election 58.8-41.2 percent.
Hultgren served in the Illinois state Senate, circa 2007-2011, and the House, from 1998-2007, before running for federal office—and reclaiming the 14th for the GOP. The conservative Republican has carved a reputation as a pro-science, pro-STEM education supporter, and tends to toe the party line on most legislation. He voted against ending the government shutdown in October 2013, and fervently opposed the expansion of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, as well as gay marriage.
Anderson is taking his second stab at unseating Hultgren following his loss to the GOP incumbent two years ago. A retired medical research administrator, the candidate—who worked at Chicago's Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center—is campaigning on issues including healthcare, education energy and jobs. On his campaign website, Anderson appeals to 14's moderate voters by casting Hultgren as a dangerous right-winger: "A contributor to Congress’ dysfunction, Representative Hultgren has been identified as the most conservative member of the Illinois Congressional delegation. He is not a traditional conservative, but instead belongs to the radical wing of the Republican Party."
According to Politico's House projections, Hultgren is a "safe Republican," meaning he stands a strong chance of scoring a second term in Washington. Other pollsters echo that sentiment.
With Nov. 4's elections looming closer, and predictions favoring a Hultgren win, Anderson will have to ramp up his grassroots ground game and negative media attacks in order to knock the career politician off his comfortable congressional seat. Also, he needs to raise a lot more money. Hultgren has out-raised his opponent, collecting nearly $1 million in campaign contributions since 2013. Anderson, meanwhile, picked up around $26,400, placing the candidate at a financial disadvantage in garnering enough resources to undo Hultgren's winning streak.