Foster turns back challenge from Left; Laib wins in GOP primary

Four-term lawmaker U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville secured a clear victory Tuesday, turning back a challenge from progressive Will County Board member Rachel Ventura in the Democratic primary in the 11th Congressional District.

In the Republican primary, Will County Sheriff's Sgt. Rick Laib of Joliet won the party nomination over Krishna Bansal, a Naperville Planning and Zoning commissioner.

Unofficial vote totals with all but a few precincts reporting showed Foster with 44,252 votes, or 59%, to Ventura's 31,145 votes.

"Despite the ongoing challenge to our country from the coronavirus, I am honored to have received the 11th District Democratic nomination for Congress," Foster said. "I am looking forward to continuing my work on behalf of hard-working families in our district and to fight for their healthcare, and to continue to champion science-based policies in the Trump era."

Unofficial totals in the GOP race show Laib garnered 12,032 votes to Bansal's 10,262 votes.

During the Democratic campaign, Foster and Ventura differed on several issues, including the Green New Deal and other environmental issues, the wealth gap and taxing the rich, and Medicare for All.

Foster, 64, a former particle physicist from Naperville,

had received endorsements from several establishment Democrats including Sen. Dick Durbin of Springfield and progressive U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Evanston.

He argued the Green New Deal is not achievable due to lack of Republican co-sponsors.

Ventura, 38, a mathematician and lifelong environmentalist from Joliet, said several environmental groups have met with Foster on the Green New Deal - a nonbinding congressional resolution outlining a plan for tackling climate change - and criticized him for refusing to sign it.

The nonbinding congressional resolution - introduced by two Democrats - outlines a plan for tackling climate change. Its goals are to wean the United States from fossil fuels, curb greenhouse gas emissions and create new jobs in clean-energy industries.

Foster said he favors strengthening the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion - the latter requiring raising taxes on the wealthy - and lowering the eligibility threshold for Medicare to below 65 years old and allowing people to buy in.

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