Republican Gradel to run for Congress against Underwood
Ted Gradel is pulling out all the heavy artillery is his recently announced 2020 run against Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville).
The former Notre Dame, Academic All-American kicker recently announced his run via a video narrated by legendary coach Lou Holtz, whom he starred under in South Bend as the Fighting Irish’s leading scorer on the school’s 1987 team.
“Americans know what it’s like to be up against the odds,” Holtz said in the "Underdog" video. “We need our chance and leaders to protect our freedom, opportunity and the values that made this underdog nation the greatest on Earth. You give Ted Gradel a chance, I promise you he won’t let you down.”
Gradel, a resident of Naperville, becomes the latest in a growing field of candidates lining up in hopes of making Underwood a one-term legislator.
The filed already formally includes state Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove), Anthony Catella of St. Charles and Danny Malouf of Woodstock. Incumbent state Rep. Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) has also indicated he is considering throwing his hat in the ring.
Gradel, who walked on Notre Dame, is making his foray in the world of politics. According to the Chicago Tribune, he has adopted the campaign slogan: “He kicked footballs in college; he’ll kick tails in Congress.”
Since leaving Notre Dame, Gradel has worked as an investor and believes his trader experiences will help him in public office.
Underwood stunned four-term incumbent Randy Hultgen in last November’s general election, riding the highs of a blue wave that ushered Democrats into power in the House of Representatives to a five-point victory.
The 14th Congressional District includes parts of DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.