State Rep. Darlene Senger will meet with Republicans in Washington, D.C., this week in preparation to challenge Democratic Rep. Bill Foster next year.
Senger will sit down with staff at the National Republican Congressional Committee, as well as with House GOP leadership and U.S. Chamber of Commerce officials, according to a knowledgeable Illinois Republican.
She is also scheduled to speak with several Illinois members, including GOP Reps. Adam Kinzinger, Rodney Davis, Peter Roskam, Randy Hultgren and John Shimkus.
Republicans do not expect Senger will formally declare her candidacy until later this month. In early March, Senger told CQ Roll Call that she was "considering" the race.
(See also in Roll Call: State Representative Considers Foster Challenge in 11th District)
It will be difficult for Republicans to pick up the 11th District, which includes the southwestern Chicagoland suburbs and exurbs.
Last cycle, Foster defeated GOP Rep. Judy Biggert by almost 17 points there. Republicans stress that while Biggert had the right profile to win the Democratic-leaning district, her campaign faltered because she never returned Foster's attacks.
What's more, the district's primary media market, Chicago, is pricey. It's hard for challengers to run successful campaigns there given the cost of airing television ads.