WASHINGTON — Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., is stepping up his interest in a 2016 Senate run, saying on Tuesday for the first time that he is “seriously considering” a Democratic primary bid.
Foster is one of four Illinois congressional Democrats considering taking aim at Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., who is seeking a second term in 2016.
Foster represents the 11th congressional district, anchored in the western suburbs of Chicago. And though his name has been in the mix for months, Foster now is moving ahead, taking on Kirk for being one of the 47 GOP senators writing a letter to the leaders of Iran, urging them not to sign a deal with the Obama administration designed to limit Iran’s nuclear capability.
“I am seriously considering running for the United States Senate because I believe that voters deserve the strongest possible alternative to Sen. Kirk,” Foster said in a statement.
“Just recently, with his signature on the incredibly irresponsible letter to the government of Iran, we’ve seen Sen. Kirk put his own politics ahead of the interests of our state and our country. It’s time Sen. Kirk is replaced with someone who will put Illinois first,” Foster said.
Besides Foster, Democratic Reps. Tammy Duckworth, Cheri Bustos and Robin Kelly are also considering a run. Of the four House members, Foster has the most financial ability to help bankroll a Senate bid.
On the GOP primary side, former Rep. Joe Walsh, R-Ill., now a radio talk show host, said he is contemplating running against Kirk in a primary.