Foster raises anti-Trump banner as he seeks sixth term

By Jack McCarthy Chronicle Media

Rep. Bill Foster

In the last 12 months Rep. Bill Foster has shifted from full support of one president to resistance against another.

The 62-year-old congressman from Naperville will seek his fourth consecutive term and sixth overall in 2018, representing a majority Democratic district.

He’s running in an 11th congressional district handily carried twice by former Democratic President Barack Obama and by 23 points by Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Republican President Donald Trump.

So if voters in his district want anti-Trump votes and views, Foster is delivering

Foster has backed Trump positions just 17.9 percent of the time  in the past year, according to the web site

He opposed repeal of the Affordable Care Act, against legislation to that would dismantle financial regulations established by the Dodd-Frank Act and rejected a Republican plan that would overhaul the nation’s tax code.

“I opposed the Republican Tax Plan, because it is a massive Christmas gift to large corporations and wealthy campaign donors that is paid with more than $1 trillion in new debt that our children must repay in the future,” Foster said in a statement following the vote. “Hardworking Illinois families will be hit especially hard, a cruel blow on top of the $40 billion that Illinois already loses every year because our state pays far more in federal taxes than we receive back in federal spending.”

Foster’s district includes a sliver of Cook County, much of Naperville and Lisle in southern DuPage, the city of Aurora in Kane County, the city of Joliet and parts of Will County, plus a northern stretch of Kendall County and Oswego.

Foster won his last race in 2016 by more than 20 points over Republican Tonia Khori and he could be in line for his largest victory margin in seven runs for Congress as national projections suggest an approaching Democratic wave.

Foster is unopposed in the March Democratic primary and political observers project him as a winner in November, no matter who the Republicans put up.

Cook Political Report and Inside Elections called the district is solidly Democratic. Sabato’s Crystal Ball rates the 11th as Safe Democratic.

Foster is a successful businessman, a scientist who spent 22 years workin at Fermilab and is the only Ph.D. physicist in Congress.

Foster was elected to Congress in a 2008 special election in the old 14th Congressional District to fill out the term of former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who had resigned. Foster beat local businessman Jim

Oberweis in that March contest and again in November balloting for a full two-year term.

But Foster lost in 2010 to then-State Rep. Randy Hultgren, who continues to serve in Congress in the redrawn 14th district.

Congressional redistricting conducted once a decade offered Foster a chance to return to Washington in a new 11th district. He beat incumbent Republican Judy Biggert by 17 points.

Nick Stella, a cardiologist from Darien, and Constant G. “Connor” Vlakancic, from  Naperville filed nominating petitions for the Republican nomination and a chance at Foster’s seat.

Stella narrowly  finished second to Khouri in the 2016 Republican primary.

The Federal Elections Commission said Stella had reported $30,000 in campaign funds on hand in October. The FEC web site had no funding data available for Vlakancic.

Foster, by contrast, reported  $2,428,646 in campaign cash on hand according to the FEC.