National and local Republicans are recruiting state Rep. Darlene Senger to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster â€” and she has confirmed interest in taking him on in suburban Chicagoâ€™s 11th District.
â€œIâ€™m considering it, but I havenâ€™t announced anything yet,â€ Senger said in a Thursday phone interview with CQ Roll Call. She added that she is in the exploratory phase of a campaign and fundraising is a top consideration in her viability.
The 11th District wonâ€™t be easy for Republicans to pick up next year. In 2012, Foster defeated former GOP Rep. Judy Biggert, by 17 points. Still, Republicans hold out hope they can win the district in part because of the competitive nature of the Chicago suburbs and exurbs.
Foster first came to Congress in an early 2008 special election. He won a full term later that year, but he lost re-election in 2010. Democrats redrew the stateâ€™s congressional map the next year, crafting a Democratic-leaning district in the suburbs that included about a quarter of Fosterâ€™s former turf.
Despite Fosterâ€™s margin and the districtâ€™s composition, Republicans refuse to write off the seat. Traditionally, the Chicagoland suburbs represent highly competitive turf. Republicans picked up several House seats in that area in 2010, only to lose them to Democrats in 2012.
â€œPart of what weâ€™re looking at now is a trend in Illinois â€” [in] all of the non-presidential years, there is a way different race voter profile than there is during the presidential years,â€ Senger said on why she could outperform Biggertâ€™s 2012 numbers.
Also, Senger or any other GOP challenger will not have to contend with the coattails of Illinoisâ€™ native son, President Barack Obama, in 2014 â€” or ever again.
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