Move over GOP House Members… “Stunning many who considered the district west of Chicago reliably Republican territory, Bill Foster, a physicist and Democrat, won a special election on Saturday to fill the Congressional seat that J. Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the House, held for two decades.”
Mr. Foster’s success deeply disappointed Republicans, in part for its broader implications: the victory in this early race may buoy Democrats as they look ahead to a string of Republican retirements this fall.
Hastert’s district had once been “a Republican stronghold,” but today’s special election changed that:
Mr. Foster defeated James D. Oberweis, a dairy company owner, in a contest for the 14th Congressional district, a long swath that runs from the far western suburbs of Chicago nearly to the state’s Iowa border. He will fill the remaining months of Mr. Hastert’s term.
Mr. Foster won with 53 percent of the vote, while Mr. Oberweis had 47 percent, The Associated Press reported.
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Chris Van Hollen said:
“Despite spending 20 percent of … their cash on hand, the [National Republican Congressional Committee] was unable to hold a seat easily won by President Bush and held by Speaker Hastert for 20 years. Americans of all political stripes are rejecting Republicans’ divisive, status quo politics and turning to Democratic candidates for change.”
Stay tuned… If this is a “sign of things to come in the fall” we could be seeing a “a rash of retirements” in the coming weeks as more GOP members of the House jump ship leaving more GOP House seats up for grabs in November.