Dem Physicist Nails House Seat in Ill. GOP Stronghold

Foster wins Hastert's spot in special election
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2008 7:00 AM CDT
Republican presidential hopeful, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., left, shakes hand with Jim Oberweis as they arrive at Aurora Municipal Airport, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 in Aurora, Ill. McCain's support didn't...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Little-known Democratic physicist Bill Foster beat Illinois Republican Jim Oberweis yesterday in a special election to fill Dennis Hastert's vacated seat in Congress. The Democrat's victory in the GOP suburban stronghold west of Chicago may herald more trouble for Republicans during fall elections, writes the Chicago Tribune. "Voters are ready for a change. They want new leadership in Washington," said Senator Dick Durbin.

Foster told supporters: "Back in the laboratory, this is what we'd say was a pretty successful experiment." The 53%-47% defeat was especially crushing to Oberweis, who has lost four high-profile races in the last six years. The dairyman vowed to contest Foster's seat in November, when the Democrat will enjoy the advantage of experience and a support staff. Two more Republican seats in Illinois will be up for grabs during that election.