Illinois: Another Hastert Eyes Congressional Seat

Posted April 20, 2009 at 6:24pm

Attorney Ethan Hastert, the son of former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), is looking at running for his father’s former seat in 2010.

The younger Hastert confirmed Monday that he is interested in running for the 14th district seat now held by Rep. Bill Foster (D-Ill.).

“I am looking at it,— Hastert said. “I started reaching out to people in the district, started to get their advice on that matter.—

The elder Hastert stepped down in November 2007, setting the scene for a Democrat to succeed him in a special election three months later. Foster defeated millionaire businessman Jim Oberweis (R) in a special election upset, then went on to win a full term with 58 percent of the vote in a rematch with Oberweis in November 2008.

Ethan Hastert said he had not spoken with anyone at the National Republican Congressional Committee yet, but he had discussed the bid at length with his father.

“He’s supportive,— Ethan Hastert said. “He’s quick to point out that it’s a tough business and you should be in it for the right reasons. But at the end of the day, he’s supportive and proud.—

Hastert is an attorney at a Chicago law firm and graduated from law school in 2005, according to an online biography from Mayer Brown. The Associated Press reported in March 2001 that he was arrested for drunken driving and other traffic violations.

Garrett’s Interested in 10th District Race

State Sen. Susan Garrett (D) is scheduled to visit Washington, D.C., this month to meet with party officials about running for Rep. Mark Kirk’s (R) seat, according to a local news report.

“I’ve received some calls from party officials in Washington, D.C., and others to see if I’m interested,— Garrett told a local newspaper.

Garrett won’t likely be the only Democrat running in the 10th district, especially if Kirk decides to run statewide in 2010. The 2006 and 2008 Democratic nominee, marketing consultant Dan Seals, has indicated he will run for a third time if it’s an open-seat race.

Kirk is contemplating running for Senate in 2010, which would leave his suburban Chicago seat up for grabs next year. Democrats have unsuccessfully targeted Kirk for the past few cycles, and his departure would make the district a potential pickup opportunity for the party. President Barack Obama won Kirk’s district with 61 percent of the vote in 2008.