The Republican primary for the 11th Congressional District is a four-person race between longtime businessman Bert Miller, conservative talk show host Ian Bayne, state Rep. Darlene Senger and Grundy County Board Member Chris Balkema. The winner will oppose Democratic incumbent Bill Foster in November.
We endorse Senger in the March 18 primary. Senger, who has an accounting background and served on the Naperville City Council, has a strong grasp of fiscal issues that will come in handy at the federal level. Her time in Springfield provided a primer in learning how to govern in a divided political environment. Like the rest of the field, Senger is adamant that excessive government regulation must be addressed to create greater economic prosperity and is highly critical of the Affordable Care Act.
Among the other candidates, Balkema is an articulate advocate for conservative principles and has an extensive private sector background with Caterpillar. He contends that crafting smaller bills with “laser focus” would be the most effective way to counteract the gridlock in Washington.
Miller, who – like Balkema – does not reside in the district, is former chairman of the Illinois Manufacturers Association and was a longtime executive at Phoenix Closures, a bottle cap and lid manufacturer in Naperville. Miller considers himself a “peacemaker,” and has a track record of supporting politicians on both sides of the aisle.
Bayne, of Aurora, is a political firebrand who says the public needs politicians willing to be combative in fighting for conservative reforms. He says a complete reform of the country’s “dreadful” education system is needed.
Senger brings the best blend of experience and broad-based knowledge to the race.