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updated: 10/11/2013 10:30 AM

Wheaton peers: Tough for Sanguinetti to also run for lt. governor

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  • Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti

    Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti


Running a statewide campaign for lieutenant governor while continuing to serve on the Wheaton City Council, Evelyn Pacino Sanguinetti certainly has her hands full these days.

But her city council peers think she's up to the task.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner on Tuesday selected the first-term councilwoman as his running mate in next spring's GOP primary. The two immediately embarked an a statewide introductory tour.

In Wheaton, Sanguinetti's peers on the city council say her conservative nature and conciliatory tone are just what the Illinois Republican party needs. And they believe she'll be able to deliver both statewide and on the city council.

"We've had numerous members of the city council, over the past 25 years, move on to higher office while they were sitting in office. These are responsible. intelligent people who can multi-task and I don't see that as a detriment to the city council," Mayor Michael Gresk said. "I wish her luck. She does her homework and she's one articulate young lady."

When asked how effective Sanguinetti can be in Wheaton while campaigning statewide, Gresk said that's entirely up to her.

"We have our meetings every Monday and Evelyn knows when and where they are held," Gresk said. "It will be her job to attend."

Councilman Todd Scalzo, a friend of Sanguinetti's, said he believes she will tend to all of her "official city council duties" but may have to cut back on other commitments.

"I have no doubt she will fulfill her official duties as far as going through materials, attending the meetings and voting," Scalzo said. "But she's going to have to make some tough decisions when it comes to attending community events and being visible in the community."

Councilman John Rutledge, whose son, Ed, ran for lieutenant governor as a Libertarian in 2010, said he recalls his son's statewide campaign being "brutal."

"Evelyn has the energy of three people and she's as smart as they come, but I've got to believe she's wondering if she can handle both (city council and the campaign)," Rutledge said. "If she gives up her full-time job to campaign, there's still room for this. Otherwise I don't know how she'd do it. I'd miss her."

Sanguinetti, a former assistant attorney general under Jim Ryan and current staff counsel at Chicago-based Maisel & Associates, also chairs the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. She has not stated publicly whether she will maintain all of her elected and professional posts.

Attempts to contact Sanguinetti via telephone, email and social media were returned Thursday with a call from the Rauner campaign, but Sanguinetti was not made available.

Scalzo said he isn't sure whether this selection was a longtime goal of Sanguinetti's, but said she has the tools to succeed.

"She is a true conservative and that will help in the Republican primary. She has a conciliatory tone that will serve her well in a blue state," Scalzo said. "She's also a Latina from the 'burbs and all of those things are assets to expand and broaden the Republican appeal."

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