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Son of Hastert exploring run in 14th District
By James Fuller | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 4/17/2009 5:18 PM

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Voters in the 14th Congressional District may have the option to be represented by a Hastert once again.

Ethan Hastert, the youngest son of former Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert, said Friday he is exploring a run as a Republican candidate against incumbent Bill Foster.

A telephone poll is running in the 14th District to measure opinions on several candidates, including Ethan Hastert.

Hastert said he is not running the poll and declined to say who is. However, the Elburn resident did confirm that he is interested.

"I'm talking to people, to local leaders and others whose counsel I respect," Hastert said.

That includes receiving a blessing from his father.

Dennis Hastert held the 14th Congressional seat for 20 years, eventually rising to Speaker of the House, before deciding to hang it up.

"He is supportive," Hastert said. "He's quite right to point out that it's a rough and tumble game. But I grew up with it, and I know that."

That's good, because a couple aspects of Hastert's past may be sore spots with voters. Before attending law school and getting a job at Mayer Brown, LLP, Hastert served as an assistant to Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby. He also was cited for a DUI as a young man back in 2001. But those are issues he'll deal with only after figuring out which other Republicans may be gearing up for a run at Foster.

"At this point I think that there needs to be a good candidate in the field who more closely represents the interests of the district than our current representative does," Hastert said.

Foster's current term expires in 2010.