Campaign cash rolling in for Foster, Biggert in 11th District race
By Paul Dailing For The Beacon-News April 21, 2012 6:48PM
Bill Foster makes election calls with volunteers in a campaign office in Naperville. Foster served in the 14th district and is running in the newly configured 11th district. Mary Beth Nolan~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: May 23, 2012 8:09AM
In what is seen as a key race on the national front, 11th Congressional District Democratic challenger Bill Foster raised more money than Republican Rep. Judy Biggert for the fourth consecutive quarter, while Biggert still has 20 percent more campaign cash overall.
The newly drawn district covers parts of Aurora, Naperville, Plainfield and Joliet.
Both national parties have targeted the 11th District contest as a key race, offering financial and strategic support to their candidate — Democrats through the “Red to Blue” campaign and Republicans through their “Patriot Program.”
Recently released Federal Election Commission forms show Foster, who served as the congressman in the 14th District from 2008 to 2011, raised $363,000 between Jan. 1 and March 31.
During that time, Biggert raised $317,000.
“We feel really good about where we are,” Foster spokesman Patrick Brown said, adding that the majority of donations came from individual voters. “That’s really the group, the grassroots supporters that are powering our campaign. Those are the people who are on the ground who are going to make a difference.”
According to the Federal Election Commission, 85 percent of Foster’s money this election cycle has come from individual voters, compared to 43 percent of Biggert’s money.
Political action committees provided 14 percent of Foster’s money and 55 percent of Biggert’s so far in this election cycle.
But Foster is still behind in the fundraising race. As of March 31, Foster’s campaign had $994,000 cash on hand, compared to Biggert’s more than $1.2 million.
“Judy is grateful for, and humbled by, the support she has received,” Biggert spokesman Mike Lukach said. “It’s clear that her record of accomplishments, history of bipartisan cooperation, and commonsense proposals to cut spending, reduce the size of the federal government, and rein in our nation’s debt are all resonating with her supporters.”
Brown said Foster’s campaign feels “really good about where we are.”
“It’s clear that Illinois is hungry for new leadership in Washington that prioritizes the middle class and seniors instead of Wall Street banks and other special interests,” Brown said.
The 11th District race is one of 18 targeted as vital for control of the House by the Democrats, and one of 29 targeted by the Republicans. All 435 congressional seats are up for election in November.
Last summer’s Democrat-led redistricting cobbled together the new 11th District out of parts of Biggert’s 13th and Foster’s former 14th districts. Foster moved from Batavia to Naperville to run in the new 11th District, while Biggert’s Hinsdale home actually is outside of the 11th District boundaries.