Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham will officially enter the contest for the new 11th Congressional District Nov. 28, when he expects to turn in his petition sheets. Cunningham Thursday confirmed his commitment to the race. It will be his second run for Congress. His last attempt came nearly 40 years a go.
"I've been going door-to-door and the response so far has been very positive," Cunningham said. "So far the media is picking up more on my opponent's name, but that was expected."
The opponent Cunningham referred to is longtime Congresswoman Judy Biggert, who is expected to run in the 11th Congressional District unless Republicans can undo the changes to Congressional district boundaries recently drawn by Illinois Democrats. Biggert was one of four Republican congressman expected to testify Thursday in a federal lawsuit Republicans filed about the map changes. Until that lawsuit is settled, Biggert will likely continue to pass petitions for both the new 11th District and her current 13th District. The new 11th District contains about 48 percent of Biggert's current district, but she does not actually live within the new boundaries.
Cunningham has said he plans on touting his residence within the 11th District as a major campaign issue. Other than that, he plans on running on a conservative platform featuring pro-life and protection of the Second Amendment.
Possibly joining Cunningham and Biggert in the potential GOP primary are Aurora Alderman Richard Irvin and Grundy County Board member Chris Balkema, who have both expressed an interest in entering the race.
The biggest Democratic name in a district expected to lean Democrat is former 14th District Congressman Bill Foster. Foster is not only in the race but recently touted the endorsement of Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White. Orland Fire Protection District President Jim Hickey and former Aurora Township Clerk Juan Thomas have also committed to the Democratic primary for the 11th Congressional District.