GOP Field to Take On Foster in Illinois Thins Out

Posted December 9, 2009 at 5:02pm

Two GOP candidates dropped out of Feb. 2 primary this week for Rep. Bill Foster’s (D-Ill.) seat, clearing the field for the two favorite candidates of national Republicans: Attorney Ethan Hastert, the son of former Speaker Dennis Hastert (R), and state Sen. Randy Hultgren.

Former Defense Department Employee Mark Vargas (R) dropped out the race on Tuesday, and he endorsed Hastert in the process. Soon after Vargas, property maintenance manager Jeff Danklefsen dropped out of the race and endorsed Hultgren.

Both men follow businessman Jim Purcell, who announced on Dec. 3 that he was leaving the race because he said in a press release that he did not want to split the conservative vote. While Purcell did not officially endorse Hultgren, the short-time candidate directed media inquiries towards Hultgren’s biggest backer and known adversary of the Hastert family, state Sen. Chris Lauzen (R-Ill.)

The last day that candidates can take their name off the ballot before the primary is today.

CQ Politics rates the general election race a Leans Democratic.

For a look at how the 2010 House races are shaping up, check out CQ Politics’ election map.