Foster gets easy win, will next face Biggert
BY MATT HANLEY Sun-Times Media March 20, 2012 11:38PM
Bill Foster talks to other Democrats at Village Links Golf Course in Glen Ellyn on Tuesday, March 20, 2012. Foster is running against Jim Hickey to win the Democratic nomination for the 11th congressional district. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 22, 2012 10:20AM
A former congressman will face a current one to represent most of Aurora, Naperville and Joliet in the U.S. House.
Former U.S. Rep. Bill Foster was convincingly ahead of his two opponents late Tuesday in the primary race for the Democratic nomination in the new 11th Congressional District.
In most counties in the district, Foster, 56, of Naperville, had significantly more votes than his challengers — Orland Park Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey and former Aurora Township Clerk Juan Thomas — combined.
With 384 of 423 precincts reported, Foster had 10,832 votes (58 percent) to Thomas’ 4,766 (25) and Hickey’s 3,100 (17).
Thomas, an Aurora resident, came closest to beating Foster in Aurora, where Thomas had about 35 percent of the vote and Foster was at about 60 percent.
Foster will face longtime U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert, a Hinsdale Republican, in November’s general election. Biggert, 74, has represented the 13th District since 1999, but her district was changed last year when legislative maps were redrawn. She was unopposed in the Republican primary for the 11th District after two potential challengers were removed from the ballot.
Foster had represented the 14th District from 2008 to 2011, losing a re-election bid to U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren. Foster moved from Batavia to Naperville to run in the 11th District, where no incumbent is running. In the primary, Foster stressed his dedication to returning Fermilab and Argonne National Laboratory to prominence. He also talked repeatedly about health care and Wall Street reform.
Tuesday night, Foster sounded tired but happy with his lead.
“We’re feeling pretty good,” he said. “I have spent the day thanking all my volunteers so I haven’t had much of a chance to study the results. I’m not aware of any shockers.”
Foster quickly returned to a familiar theme that has worked for him in the past, saying the general election will be a race between a scientist/businessman (himself) and a career politician/lawyer (Biggert).
The new district includes parts of Kane, Kendall, DuPage, Will and Cook counties. The district covers most of Aurora, Montgomery, Oswego, Plainfield, Naperville, Lisle and Joliet.
The district likely will be a national focal point as Democrats try to win back a majority in the U.S. House. Biggert and Foster have significant fundraising capabilities.
For the most part, both candidates ignored their primary opponents and took shots at each other.
Kane County clerk Jack Cunningham, who was disqualified from the Republican ballot after multiple challenges, said he is considering whether to run in the November election as an independent.