Polls: Tight race in 14th Congressional District

October 19, 2010 3:15:46 PM PDT
A Republican state senator is among the candidates hoping to unseat Democratic incumbent Bill Foster in the 14th District congressional race.

The seat once held by former House Speaker Dennis Hastert represents the far western suburbs.

The 14th Congressional District includes parts of eight counties, including Kane, Kendall and DuPage. In the district's history, there have been only four Democratic congressmen, Foster being one of them.

The race is considered a dead heat and one that both major national parties are keeping a close eye on.

Democrat Bill Foster is a nuclear physicist, small business owner, and for the last two years a congressman. He admits the current political environment has been tough to take.

"One of my big disappointments is the partisanship and the mindless spewing of each party's talking points instead of actually analyzing the issues, which is the scientific approach towards things," said Foster.

Republican Randy Hultgren is a financial planner, lawyer and state senator.

Hultgren hopes to be part of big change in Washington.

"I may be part of one of the largest freshman class ever coming to Congress," said Hultgren. "We see ourselves as an immediate action Congress."

Teacher Dan Kairis is the Green party candidate.

"The biggest thing I'm running on is the fact that the two major parties have been taken over by corporations and special interests," Kairis said.

But polls say the race for Congress in Illinois' 14th district is like so many: a toss-up between the two major party candidates.

Foster and Hultgren agree that jobs is the No. 1 issue, but the men differ on how to create more jobs. Foster says it's time to reverse Bush administration policies that led to the loss of manufacturing jobs. While Hultgren says a payroll tax holiday is the answer.

Both candidates disagree about the success or failure of stimulus spending. Hultrgen says it was not worth it in the 14th District.

"If anything, you could maybe argue there were about 600 jobs or less that were saved or created because of that," said Hultrgen.

But Foster's numbers tell a different story.

"If you invest a trillion dollars on an emergency intervention, and see household net worth rebound by roughly $7 trillion in less than a year and half, it is a pretty reasonable return on your investment," Foster said.

While Foster voted for the stimulus and the health care bill, he has compiled a fairly conservative voting record among Democrats. Hultgren disagrees and says Foster has voted with Nancy Pelosi over 92 percent of the time.

This is another Chicago-area race where both major party candidates have received money from their national parties. Michelle Obama was in town last week for a fundraiser for three congressional candidates, including Foster.


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