Illinois 11th Congressional District Primary Election Forum

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The four candidates running for the Illinois 11th Congressional District seat in the U.S. House of representatives gathered at the Naperville Municipal Center for a primary election forum.

Democratic Candidates

The League of Women Voters of Naperville and Aurora hosted the event, which was split up into two parts featuring Democratic and Republican parties. First up were the Democratic candidates: Rachel Ventura, and incumbent Bill Foster.

Moderator Jan Dorner asked them a set of questions. One question asked was if they would oppose budget proposals and transfers that fund immigration and customs enforcement, and if they were committed to closing loopholes that commit transfers.

Foster’s Answer

Foster, who’s held the Illinois 11th Congressional District seat since 2012, said the country “will always need something like ICE”.

“I think what we have to do is make sure that ICE is doing what the people of the United States  really want,” said Foster. “They don’t want ICE to engage in ejecting Dreamers. A huge majority of Americans believe in the dream act that would provide a pathway to citizenship for these young kids that have never known any country but this.”

Ventura’s Answer

Ventura, who currently sits on the Will County Board, said she’d vote to get rid of ICE.

“I support abolishing ICE,” said Ventura. “I support a pathway to citizenship that is attainable, affordable, and does not discriminate from the country a person comes from. And does not move the goalpost for families that are already here. I will vote with the progressive caucus against any future funding for the border wall. On December 16, Bill Foster did vote for $1.4 billion-check for Donald Trump’s racist wall.”

Republican Candidates

After an intermission, community members heard from Republican candidates Krishna Bansal and Rick Laib.

One question asked to both candidates was how they would control healthcare costs.

Bansal’s Answer

Bansal, who’s currently a Planning and Zoning commissioner for the City of Naperville, said costs could be controlled if the government has less regulations on healthcare.

“We can’t afford it anymore, it is a problem,” said Bansal. “It’s becoming a burden on the common man. It has to be controlled now. Again, it can be controlled if the government gets out, and removes the state boundary line for the insurance companies. Let the insurance companies compete nationally the way they used to. That is definitely going to help.”

Laib’s Answer

Laib, a sergeant with the Will County Sheriff’s Office, also said government shouldn’t play a role with healthcare.

“If the government is not a part of it then there’s really one entity that can handle healthcare and that’s the free market,” said Laib. “When all the other institutions are left are in the game they are forced to compete. When they compete then everybody wins. Anytime there is some competition then everybody is going to win because they are looking to provide the best service at the best cost. Nobody is just writing free checks.”

The primary elections will be on March 17. You can check out where your polling place is located on

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.


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