Campaigns

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Eveyln Sanguinetti announces House run in suburban Chicago

Vying to challenge freshman Democrat Sean Casten in key 6th District

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti is challenging Democratic incumbent Sean Casten in the state’s 6th District. (Courtesy Sanguinetti’s campaign)

Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti announced Monday that she will run for the state’s 6th District, a longtime Republican stronghold captured last year by Democrat Sean Casten

“I really wanted to see Sean Casten be the voice this district needed when he won election last November,” the Republican said at a morning announcement in her hometown of Wheaton, according to a campaign press release. “Unfortunately, all we have is another politician cozying up to progressives and socialists in support of increased taxes and expanded government — when he should be fighting for the district he was sent to represent.”

Sanguinetti, the daughter of an Ecuadorian immigrant father and Cuban refugee mother, served as the state’s first Hispanic lieutenant governor from 2015 to 2019. Before that, she was a Wheaton city councilwoman, an assistant Illinois attorney general and an adjunct law professor. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said in a statement that Sanguinetti would be a “rubber stamp vote” for President Donald Trump and bring “more of the same sort of dysfunction, corruption and gridlock that she presided over in Springfield.”

Sanguinetti, who has multiple sclerosis, will make health care reform and immigration signature campaign issues, the Daily Herald reported

“When I hear things like repeal and replace and when I see that my party has had 10 years to find that replacement, I can tell you that I’m going to be that voice to say you need to protect people like me with this pre-existing condition,” she said, according to the newspaper. 

Sanguinetti also opposed the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Herald reported.

The 6th District is one of numerous suburban seats that Democrats flipped in 2020, and both parties have pegged it as a top battleground for 2020

Sanguinetti  will enter the race with name ID and familiarity with donors. While she was on a losing statewide ticket with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last fall, they carried the 6th District. Her connection to the unpopular Rauner, though, could be a liability, strategists from both parties said in March. 

Rauner has endorsed her candidacy, as have two of the five Republicans in the Illinois congressional delegation — Reps. Rodney Davis and John Shimkus — and former GOP Rep. Donald Manzullo

The district, which is largely white, was drawn by the Democrat-controlled state Legislature following the 2010 census to favor Republicans.

The Democrats’ victory there last fall, as well as in the neighboring 14th District, was seen as evidence of the growing national rural-urban divide, and also as a referendum on Trump.

Hillary Clinton carried the seat by 7 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Leans Democratic.

Watch: What race ratings really mean and how we create them

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