CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Democrat Bill Foster told Illinois delegates at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday that he supported nearly all of President Barack Obama's initiatives in Congress while he was there and hopes to do so again.
Foster, of Naperville, is running for Congress from the 11th District against Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert of Hinsdale and has keyed in on the Obama initiatives that he supported -- health care reform and the auto industry bailout, for example -- and Biggert didn't.
He hit on the economic issues that most agree will be the backbone of November's election, even pulling up a computer slideshow at the Illinois delegates' daily breakfast.
"One of the dangers of electing a scientist to Congress is they talk about numbers and facts," said Foster, a physicist.
Biggert, a veteran of Congress since 1999, has said she's trying to appeal to independent voters. The national Republican Party went on the attack on her behalf Wednesday afternoon.
"Bill Foster has reconfirmed the reason why Illinois families fired him in 2010," National Republican Campaign committee spokeswoman Katie Prill said. "The families of the 11th District are looking for a moderate leader."
Foster served a term and a half in Congress starting in 2008, defeating Republican Jim Oberweis in a special election and giving Democrats the trophy of Republican U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's former seat.
"To most of you, I'm most famous in Illinois for not being Jim Oberweis," Foster told the delegates.
Foster said he realizes his race with Biggert is part of a large push in Illinois over five battleground congressional seats -- with three of them, including his, in the suburbs.
"My goal is to get into Congress but to never serve in the minority," Foster said.
Foster was the last speaker at an Illinois breakfast packed with a lineup of Democratic firepower, including turns at the podium from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Obama friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett and national United Auto Workers President Bob King.
Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan praised Foster's patience to wait for his turn.
"Bill Foster was here before I got here, and I try to be the first person in the room," Madigan said.