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Foster out, TCullerton forms congressional exploratory committee

Monday, Apr 13, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Not a huge surprise

Rep. Bill Foster, of Naperville, announced Friday that he will not challenge Republican Sen. Mark Kirk in 2016 and instead is backing another Democrat, Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

Foster, a physicist, said in a statement he wanted to avoid a “costly and, ultimately unnecessary, primary” election.

He said he will serve as co-chairman of Duckworth’s finance committee to help her raise cash for her race.

The Democratic establishment is rapidly coalescing behind Duckworth and Foster didn’t bring much to the table except his personal wealth, which wasn’t enough to compete at that level anyway.

* Meanwhile, from a press release…

Tom Cullerton, a first term state Senator from Villa Park, announced that he is starting his exploratory campaign to represent middle-class families of Illinois’ 8th Congressional District.

“I am exploring a run for Congress because I want to make sure working families like mine have a voice in Washington,” Cullerton said. “I know what it’s like to wake up at 3 a.m., punch a time clock at 4:30a.m. and put in a hard days work. From the crippling cost of college to the shrinking opportunities for our next generation, I will use my blue collar work ethic to fix the problems the middle class faces. It’s a common experience that many people in the 8th district share but a unique experience in Congress. That is something that needs to change.”

Cullerton beat a 24-year Republican incumbent in 2012, making him the first Democrat ever elected to the state Senate from DuPage County. Before serving in the Illinois Senate, Cullerton served as Village President of Villa Park while working as a route salesman for Hostess Brands. Cullerton believes that his experience as a card carrying union member will be a unique perspective in Congress.

Cullerton’s candidacy sparked early endorsements from local labor and elected officials, including Assistant Majority Leader Senator Tony Munoz and Carol Stream Mayor Frank Saverino.

“I have seen Tom grow into an effective legislator, who can work across party lines while preserving his Democratic values,” said Munoz. “Tom’s skillset will be missed in the state Senate, but I am confident that he will help break the gridlock in Washington and move our country forward.”

“Tom has been a champion of the Western Suburbs for more than a decade. He clearly understands the issues our families and businesses face.” Saverino said. “His leadership made the Elgin-O’Hare Western Access project a reality, bringing economic growth to the region that was desperately need. We need people like him leading in Washington.”

Cullerton is a Veteran of the United States Army serving as an 11H TOW Gunner and combat medic until being honorably discharged in 1993. After moving to DuPage County, Cullerton decided to become active in the community. He formed and served as a captain a local neighborhood watch. He also became a member of the Knights of Columbus, the American Legion, and coaches little league.

* Last week, however, one of Cullerton’s Senate colleagues backed another candidate…

State Senator Dan Kotowski (D-28th District) and dozens of local Democratic leaders and activists today announced their support of Raja Krishnamoorthi’s candidacy to replace Rep. Tammy Duckworth in Congress.

“Raja offers meaningful solutions to protect working families and shares my commitment to help people in our community achieve the American Dream,” said Kotowski, a Democrat whose state legislative district includes parts of the 8th Congressional District of Illinois.

Kotowski’s district includes Arlington Heights, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Roselle and Schaumburg.


  1. - Team Sleep - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    I really like Tom Cullerton, but I would bet that a primary against Raja K (especially in a presidential year) would end badly for Tom C.

    I would also bet that, if Tom C. were to pull the proverbial trigger, Rauner’s political staffers would be salivating at that pickup opportunity.

  2. - Hedley Lamarr - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    It will all depend on
    Who Sen. Durbin endorses.

  3. - It never ends.... - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    I just read Mr. Saverino’s endorsement of Senator Cullerton. Mr. Saverino….you couldn’t be more wrong on the position that Senator Cullerton held with the Elgin-O’Hare roadway. Mr. Cullerton did absolutely nothing. Attended very few meetings, his staff attended very few meetings, and even while he was a mayor had nothing to do with the issues. You should do your homework, sir.

  4. - Archiesmom - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 12:37 pm:

    = It will all depend on who Sen. Durbin endorses. =

    If the usual pattern holds, Durbin is unlikely to endorse in a contested primary. Behind the scenes may be another matter.

  5. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 1:57 pm:

    Tom Cullerton in a congressional Democratic primary? “Where was Republican Tom Cullerton on X?” “When you were fighting for X, Republican Tom Cullerton was…”

  6. - VP - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 2:17 pm:


  7. - MrJM - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 2:41 pm:

    I’ve been at this a while, so I don’t get bent out of shape when politicians are rude to me. No biggie.

    But Tom Cullerton holds the distinction of being the only politician who was ever a jerk to my wife.

    – MrJM

  8. - nona - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 2:49 pm:

    Where does all this leave Sen. Noland?

  9. - Knifefighter - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 3:22 pm:

    = Where does all this leave Sen. Noland?=


  10. - Hedley Lamarr - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    Archiesmom - Didn’t Durbin endorse Tammy over Raja?

  11. - The ghost of 2012 - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 6:13 pm:

    Durbin did indeed endorse duckworth

  12. - Upon Further Review - Monday, Apr 13, 15 @ 9:57 pm:

    Duckworth is an underwhelming choice for the US Senate. Her Congressional experience is limited.
    She worked for Blagojevich and was sued by her own employees.

    On the plus side, she will not have to move into another district to run statewide.

  13. - A. Nonymous - Tuesday, Apr 14, 15 @ 12:13 am:

    @ Upon Further Review -

    Kirk is an underwhelming choice for re-election to the US Senate. His Congressional experience has been lackluster and his PR spin often masks his out-of-touch right-wing persona.

    He supported Bush and Mitch McConnell and for some reason felt compelled to lie about his military record. He was recently exposed for making racist remarks about predominantly African-American neighborhoods.

    On the plus side…. well, there isn’t much plus side to Mark Kirk.

    The elephants must be stretching if they’re trying to connect an Army pilot who sacrificed her limbs for this nation to Blago.

    Duckworth doesn’t need to lie about her military record. All you have to do is open your eyes.

  14. - low level - Tuesday, Apr 14, 15 @ 6:56 am:

    Upon Further Review - nice try, but I think the replay will show a definite fumble if that silly argument is used in the campaign.

  15. - Vp north - Tuesday, Apr 14, 15 @ 8:01 am:

    Precinct committeeman must be from the York township dems. They don’t support any candidates that they don’t hand pick. I though tom c only voted republican in one primary. I am a hard core dem and have done that several times, for very close friends. Did anyone ever ask him why? And I have never seen him be a jerk to anyone. Waiting to see who else will come out of the woodwork for this race.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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