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House Speaker Paul Ryan Attends Campaign Luncheon For Congressman Randy Hultgren

CHICAGO (CBS) -- House Speaker Paul Ryan was in Chicago to raise money for Congressman Randy Hultgren, who's facing a well-financed challenge from a political newcomer.

CBS 2's Derrick Blakley reports Paul Ryan was the big draw at a fundraising luncheon in the West Loop to support Randy Hultgren's campaign. The plates cost up to $1,000 each, up to $5,000 for the VIP special. Hultgren's opponent is raising big bucks, as well.

House Speaker Paul Ryan denied that his Chicago visit amounts to a distress signal from the Hultgren campaign.

Blakley: "Does that mean the congressman is in trouble in his district?"

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R):  "No, it means you help people who are the hard workers in Congress, like Randy Hultgren."

"I'm a nervous candidate and I think that's a healthy thing to do, run through the finish line," stated Rep. Randy Hultgren (R – Campton Hills), saying he's nervous to compete in the congressional race against Lauren Underwood.

Lauren Underwood, a registered nurse from Naperville, is running for Congress in the 14th district. The 31-year-old democrat is a first-time candidate. She beat six men in the primary and says President Trump and Obamacare repeal is her core issue.

"They wanted to take away health coverage from the American people and I just knew I could not stand by and let them do that," Underwood stated.

The sprawling 14th district runs from Antioch to Plainfield and leans republican, although President Trump won in 2016 by less than four points. Even though he's not on the ballot, Trump may be the biggest issue. Ryan wants voters to focus on tax cuts and the economy, not the President's behavior.

Blakely: "So you tell GOP voters, and all voters, to ignore what the President's doing?"

Ryan: "That's what you said. I said focus on what we're accomplishing. Focus on the results."

Hultgren was first elected to Congress in 2010. Underwood raised more campaign cash than Hultgren in the last quarter, and has been endorsed by former President Barack Obama.

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