Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. $12 for 12 weeks.

In wake of remap plan, ex-lawmaker to run again

WASHINGTON – Saying he had important things left to do, former U.S. Rep. Bill Foster formally announced today he will run for a seat in the House of Representatives.

Foster, 55, a Democrat, was ousted after November’s elections when he fell to Republican Randy Hultgren, then a state senator.

But the proposed remapping of the state’s congressional districts creates a new district where no sitting member of Congress from Illinois -- nor Foster himself -- lives. He said Tuesday his Batavia condo is “two or three minutes” north of the proposed district, which would take in Aurora, Joliet, Lisle, Naperville and other suburbs.

Foster, 55, is a physicist and inventor who worked at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

“I am running to return to Congress because there are important things left to accomplish and important accomplishments that must be defended,” he said in an e-mail Tuesday. “Our fragile economic recovery must be sustained, and the long-term fiscal problems that we face must be solved without breaking promises to our seniors or dismantling Medicare.”

Foster served nearly three years in Congress beginning in March 2008 when he won the seat that had been held by Republican Dennis Hastert, the longtime House speaker.

Foster, in an interview, said he was encouraged to run by national Democrats and had unfinished business in Congress including making sure Wall Street reform measures he authored were defended and subject to congressional oversight. “Instead of holding hearings, the Republicans are doing messaging on their right-wing agenda,” he said.

Republicans launched a salvo against Foster even before the release of the e-mail announcing his candidacy, which was reported Saturday by the Chicago Tribune.

“Illinois working families fired Bill Foster last fall because of his unwavering support for reckless spending, higher taxes and bigger government,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Andrea Bozek wrote in an email.

Foster, asked about the statement, said he voted in 2008 and 2009 against the Democratic budget proposal and that Republicans “simply haven’t updated their talking points since the last election.”

Foster’s release stressed his hand in creating jobs. A youthful invention led to the Wisconsin-based Electronic Theatre Controls, which he said makes more than half the theatre lighting equipment in the U.S.

Foster, whose term in Congress ended in early January, said in answer to a question that he had been “catching up on his reading” and worked on the board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since then.

Foster, married with two grown children, also traveled to Paris for a week last month, their first family vacation in four years.

Foster’s last race cost about $3.5 million, he said. He said his ability to pour his own money into this race will not be a “big factor,” and declined to state how much he would spend. “I was a thoughtful and responsible member of Congress,” he said. “And I have a record that voters can be proud of.”

kskiba@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Comments
Loading