Woodstock’s Lauf to challenge Foster for congressional seat

Catalina Lauf talks about her campaign for Congress on Saturday in Crystal Lake.

Woodstock Republican Catalina Lauf announced Tuesday she intends to run for Congress in the 11th District, setting up a possible challenge to incumbent Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Naperville.

Lauf posted a statement on Twitter Tuesday morning announcing she would run in Illinois’ new 11th Congressional district after previously filing to run in the former 16th Congressional District to challenge incumbent Congressman Adam Kinzinger, R-Channahon. Kinzinger announced in October he would not run for another term in Congress.

Lauf said her goal for 2022 is to “make America make sense again.”

“Bill Foster is an out-of-touch tax and spend progressive who is a secure vote for every Biden/Pelosi socialist bill wrecking our economy and our country,” she said in a statement.

Foster’s campaign declined to comment Tuesday. He has represented Illinois’ 11th Congressional district since 2013, which currently includes parts of Joliet, Naperville, and Aurora.

Illinois’ new 11th Congressional district stretches from Wauconda to Belvidere, including parts or all of McHenry, Marengo, Woodstock, Crystal Lake, and Huntley in McHenry County. It then travels south to include much of western Kane County along with parts of Aurora, Naperville, and Lemont.

The Republican primary for the seat puts Lauf against Dean Seppelfrick, an Aurora resident, according to his filing with the Federal Elections Commission, and Michael David Pierce, who is a Naperville resident and former Army major who holds a doctorate, according to his filing. Neither currently maintain a campaign website.

Running in the 11th District keeps Lauf from challenging incumbent Congressman Darin LaHood, R-Dunlap, who is running in the new 16th district.

Lauf originally pledged to run for Congress to take on Kinzinger after taking issue with votes he took to impeach former President Donald Trump. Kinzinger has become increasingly unpopular with Republicans over the last year.

“We ran Adam Kinzinger out of this election cycle,” Lauf said in Tuesday’s statement.

The 2022 election will be Lauf’s second run for Congress. She lost in the Republican primary in 2020 to former state Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-North Aurora, who eventually lost to U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood, D-Naperville, for the 14th District seat.

Prior to running in 2020, Lauf was appointed by Trump to a position in the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Lauf did not reference Trump in her announcement, but pledged to take on “political elites on both sides of the aisle.”

North Carolina Republican U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn, an often controversial supporter of Trump, endorsed Lauf in July, according to NewsNation. Lauf said in an interview an endorsement from Trump would be “the most valuable currency today in Republican politics.”

Lauf founded the Defense of Freedom political action committee in 2019 and holds roles with two Woodstock companies, according to her LinkedIn page.

She said she plans to campaign on issues involving individual liberties, families, and business.

“We’re running to bring our individual liberties back to America’s parents and their children,” she said.

Lauf raised over $800,000 through September for 2022, according to the Federal Election Commission. Foster raised about $600,000 by the end of September.

Illinois’ 2022 primary will be held at the end of June prior to the November general election.