This district encompasses portions of counties including Cook, DuPage and Kane, and includes the cities Naperville, Aurora and Joliet on the western and southwestern outskirts of Chicago.
It was repped by Illinois GOP congressman Adam Kinzinger from 2011 to 2013, when he switched over to serve the 16th congressional district amid statewide redistricting. Bill Foster, a Democrat, now serves the 11th. He's running for re-election against GOP nominee Darlene Senger, a member of the state's House of Representatives since 2008, in a lopsidedly expensive race that has seen Foster's campaign raise $1.9 million to Senger's $498,729.
Relatively new to the Illinois political stage, Foster—a rank-and-file Democrat with populist-liberal leanings—previously represented the 14th district for one term before losing re-election in 2010. Two years later, he campaigned in the 11th—where redrawn boundaries reeled in extra Democratic supporters—and scored 58.6 percent of the vote against GOP incumbent Judy Biggert. Prior to getting into his politics, the wealthy Harvard grad and Naperville resident worked as a physicist at Fermilab and started a successful lighting business at age 19. He supports higher taxes on the rich and opposes school vouchers.
Another Napervillian, Senger previously worked in the private sector as a financial advisor and served on the Naperville City Council for six years. Vastly outspent by Foster, the pro-business, anti-tax candidate hasn't received enough financial support from the national GOP to counter his cash advantage (though she was named one of the party's "Young Guns" requiring extra resources to win election). Her campaign has gone super-negative on Foster, recently accusing the congressman of refusing to pay his taxes and ignoring a debate with her at the League of Women Voters Forum.
According to the Rothenberg Political Report, Foster is a "safe Democrat." Politico, meanwhile, positions the Foster-Senger outcome as "likely Democratic," expressing a sliver of a doubt. Copy that for Real Clear Politics.
If Senger manages to rake in more campaign money to match Foster's overstuffed war chest, then she may have a real shot at victory. But her fundraising skills have been less than impressive. And Republicans' attention seems to have drifted elsewhere, particularly to highly coveted battleground districts like the 10th (Brad Schneider vs. Bob Dold) that the party is eager to flip from blue to red.