Atkinson Ends Bid, Endorses Ex-Rep. Foster

Posted June 15, 2011 at 7:14pm

Illinois Democrats avoided a major political headache Tuesday when wealthy businessman John Atkinson (D) announced he was suspending his House campaign.

Although Atkinson originally set out to challenge Rep. Dan Lipinski (D), his home was moved into the 11th district under new Congressional lines. He was therefore expected to run against former Rep. Bill Foster (D) in 2012. But Atkinson said in a statement that he was suspending his campaign and endorsing Foster in the district on the southwest side of Chicago.

“While I do not agree with him 100% of the time, I think it’s more important for me to support a candidate like Bill Foster than to run against him just because I want to serve,” Atkinson said.

Foster lost re-election last November to now-Rep. Randy Hultgren (R), who will likely run for re-election in the redrawn  14th district that includes many of the Chicago exurbs west and north of the city.

Although Rep. Judy Biggert (R) has not said in which district she will run in 2012, party insiders say she will most likely run in the 11th district.