Former Rep. Bill Foster will seek return to Congress in 2012

Former Illinois congressman Bill Foster hopes to make a comeback by running for the proposed 11th Congressional District seat that would take in Aurora.

Foster, 55, filed papers Saturday with the Federal Election Commission. The Democrat and physicist from Batavia is expected to formally announce his bid in the 2012 election on Tuesday, a campaign spokesman said.

Foster represented the 14th Congressional District for a little more than two years after winning a high-profile special election in March 2008 to take the seat that had been held by Republican Dennis Hastert, the longtime House speaker who retired several months after Democrats took over the House.

At the time, Foster’s victory was considered a potential sign of the Democrats’ fortunes in the House. He went on to win a full two-year term in November 2008, when Barack Obama led the Democratic ticket.


But Foster’s time in Congress came to an end after last November’s Republican tidal wave, when Randy Hultgren, a state senator from Winfield whose supporters included “tea party” activists, reclaimed the seat for the GOP.

After the November 2012 elections, Illinois will lose one seat in the House, leaving it with 18. That impending loss led to the just-proposed remapping of the state’s congressional districts.

Foster, who formerly worked at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, made millions of dollars from an invention that led to the creation of Electronic Theatre Controls, which makes lighting for theaters and film and television studios.

Another recent filing with the FEC shows that Foster’s campaign treasurer is his wife, physicist Aesook Byon.