Foster, Rashid argue about misleading campaign video in congressional race

U.S. Rep. Bill Foster on Monday blasted the candidate taking him on in the Democratic primary for Illinois’ 11th District seat over a campaign video produced by the challenger that mischaracterizes why Foster left a recent political forum before it ended.

Foster and primary opponent Qasim Rashid, both of Naperville, were among the candidates who attended a Jan. 24 forum at Naperville’s Nichols Library. The gathering lasted about two hours, but Foster departed after about an hour to attend a scheduled event at the Monarch Landing retirement community in Naperville.

A moderator mentioned Foster’s need to leave early at the start of the discussion, and when the time came Foster excused himself and walked away.

Rashid’s 30-second spot, marked paid for by the Qasim for Congress campaign and available on social media and streaming services, accuses Foster of ducking his voting record by showing Foster’s empty spot on the Naperville dais with the text “Bill Foster Missing.” It then cuts to video of Foster leaving the forum as a narrator accuses Foster of “running away when the questions get tough.”

“While Bill Foster is running away, Qasim Rashid is running for you,” the narrator later adds as the video of Foster leaving the forum plays again.

During a joint, online candidate interview with the Daily Herald on Monday, Foster accused Rashid of having a “casual relationship with the truth.”

“He’s been basically lying about that,” Foster said after once again explaining why he left the Naperville forum early. “It is in no sense true.”

Rashid responded, in part, by saying Foster canceled other planned forum appearances, a claim Rashid repeatedly has made during the campaign.

Foster and Rashid also sparred about their stances on health care, Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza and Rashid’s description of himself as a longtime suburban resident. In his opening remarks, Rashid said he’s lived in DuPage County “the majority of my life” after immigrating to the U.S. from Pakistan as a child. Rashid left the suburbs for Virginia to attend law school in 2009 and remained there for more than a decade until moving to Naperville in 2022.

While in Virginia, Rashid ran for a state Senate seat in 2019 and for a congressional seat in 2020. He won both Democratic primaries but lost the general elections.

Foster accused Rashid of leaving Virginia politics “in disgrace” after misrepresenting himself. Rashid later called that and similar remarks “malicious.”

The winner of the March 19 Democratic primary will face one of three Republicans − Jerry Evans of Warrenville, Susan Hathaway-Altman of Geneva or Kent Mercado of Bartlett − in November’s general election.

The 11th District encompasses portions of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, Will, DeKalb and Boone counties.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.