Catalina Lauf seeks to oust incumbent Bill Foster in Illinois' 11th Congressional District

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Friday, October 14, 2022
Catalina Lauf seeks to oust Bill Foster in newly-redrawn 11th District
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Republican Catalina Lauf is seeking to oust incumbent Rep. Bill Foster in Illinois' newly-redrawn 11th District.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- One of the congressional races that Illinois Republicans are targeting as they seek to retake control of the House of Representatives is the newly-redrawn 11th District.

The old district used to encompass the west and southwest suburbs, but the new map now stretches north and west and covers parts of all of the collar counties.

Incumbent Bill Foster, a Democrat, is facing a challenge from Republican Catalina Lauf.

Foster, a former business owner and Fermilab scientist who was first elected to Congress in 2012, met with painter apprentices Thursday, hoping to keep the 11th District blue.

His Republican challenger, Lauf, is the daughter of Latin American immigrants who started a business here with her sister. She met Thursday morning with local shop owners hoping to flip the district red.

The economy is a top issue for both.

"All Americans are suffering," Lauf said. "They can't afford gas, they can't afford grocery, groceries, their grocery bill, inflation is high."

"We did a very good job of bringing down the unemployment rate following the 15% unemployment rate in the peaks of the pandemic, but we're left with some residual inflation," Foster said.

On the border crisis, Foster calling for asylum cases to be decided quickly, while Lauf is advocating for immigration reform and securing the border. And then there's the issue of abortion.

"I think for many women of all ages it may be the number one issue," Foster said.

"To think that women in particular only care about, you know, one issue is something that Democrats are very much miscalculating," Lauf countered.

Besides their political stances, the two candidates are offering voters another contrast for consideration: age and experience. Lauf is 29, and Foster is 67.

"It's nice to have someone with real experience in business and real experience with technology and science," Foster said.

"It's time we have new faces and new perspectives in our party," Lauf said. "Our districts change."

As for the January 6th uprising at the Capitol that is once again in the news.

"It may in the big scope of things be the most important issue that's on the table this election," Foster said.

Lauf, a former Trump appointee in the Commerce Department, said those who committed crimes should be punished.

"It has been so politicized and continues to come up in interviews is so, sad to me," Lauf said.

The election is now less than a month away.