Balkema enters Republican primary race for Congress
Republican Chris Balkema on Tuesday formally announced his candidacy for the 11th Congressional District, entering a primary race for the seat now held by Democrat Bill Foster of Naperville.
Balkema, of Channahon, is a Grundy County board member and purchasing manager with Caterpillar Inc. in Joliet.
He announced his candidacy in North Aurora today and wants to tout his business experience in the campaign.
"I see what it's like to run a business," Balkema said.
The 11th Congressional District stretches from Aurora in the west to Burr Ridge in the east, includes parts of Naperville and runs south to Joliet.
The 11th District Republican primary is shaping up as the main race for Congress in the suburbs. Along with Balkema, state Rep. Darlene Senger of Naperville has announced her candidacy and private investigator Ian Bayne of Aurora has said he's running, too.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, Senger touted the endorsement of Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross of Oswego, whom she worked closely with in Springfield. While the national party tends to not pick favorites in primary races, Senger has seen some early backing from some suburban Republicans like Cross and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren of Winfield.
The primary election is March 18.