Foster Defeats Oberweis for Hastert’s Seat

Posted March 8, 2008 at 9:43pm

Democrat Bill Foster defeated dairy magnate Jim Oberweis (R) in Illinois’ special election today, delivering House Republicans a symbolic loss in the race to replace retired Speaker Dennis Hastert (R). The Associated Press called the race for Foster, who took 53 percent of the vote, with 548 of 568 precincts reporting. Oberweis received 47 percent. Foster and Oberweis will square off again in November for a full two-year term. Both candidates and House campaign committees dumped millions of dollars into the district ahead of the special election. According to campaign finance records, the National Republican Congressional Committee spent $1.24 million defending the seat, while the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee paid out $1.04 million. Oberweis, who has now lost four high-profile Land of Lincoln elections in recent years, spent $2.34 million ahead of today’s election to replace Hastert. Foster, a wealthy physicist, spent $1.44 million. A Survey USA poll conducted exclusively for Roll Call this week suggested that Foster led Oberweis 52 percent to 45 percent. The poll had a 4.4-point margin of error. – Matthew Murray