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Will Endorsements Matter in the 14th?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 5, 2008 7:00PM

Leading up to the special election this Saturday in Illinois's 14th Congressional District, Bill Foster's campaign has announced a slew of endorsements. The list included the Aurora Beacon News, the DeKalb Daily Chronicle, the Kane County Chronicle, the Algonquin Countryside, and the Chicago Tribune. Besides local and regional editorial boards, he's also been endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters, who cited his credentials as a scientist, and the Illinois Federation of Teachers, who like Foster's support of smaller class size, teacher recruitment programs, and more funding for technology in classrooms.

Foster also announced earlier this week a new ad, featuring Barack Obama.

Jim Oberweis hasn't stacked up quite as many (glowing) endorsements, earning only the Daily Herald, the Elgin Courier News, and, of course, the retired congressman he hopes to replace, Dennis Hastert. That may not matter, however. In a race that has seen two very wealthy individuals pour buckets of their own money into the race, and both national parties kicking in their fair share as well, the Daily Herald's tepid endorsement of Oberweis may well sum up the mood of voters in the 14th: "Oberweis and Foster are both rich men, successful businessmen largely unfamiliar with the intrusiveness and give-and-take of public governance. And neither has anywhere near the understanding of the average constituent's day-to-day problems that Hastert did. Thus, we can only hope whoever wins will put listening closely to constituents, not party hacks, at the top of the priority list if they truly want to act for the people."

Considering that the race for this congressional seat will go on well past Saturday's special election, the winner of Saturday's vote may find himself in the precarious position of trying to govern from the campaign trail.