Federal filing: Ives seeking Casten's U.S. House seat

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives has filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission to run for the U.S. House in the 6th Congressional District.

Ives, a Wheaton Republican who lost a 2018 primary bid to unseat then-Gov. Bruce Rauner, is now the second Republican in the race against U.S. Rep. Sean Casten, a freshman Democrat from Downers Grove.

Ives designated "Jeanne for Congress" as her campaign committee in the filing, posted Thursday. She stands to oppose former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, who announced her U.S. House campaign for Casten's seat in April, in a 2020 Republican primary.

Ives and Sanguinetti both were once Wheaton City Council members.

But their dual candidacies now could divide the Republican Party, which held the 6th District seat from 1972 through 2018. Former U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton served in the role for 12 years before losing in November to Casten amid a suburban voter swing to the left.

Ives, reached briefly by phone Thursday, said she plans to announce more about her campaign in the coming days.

Before her costly and close race against Rauner in 2018, Ives served three terms as a state representative in the 42nd District covering all or parts of Wheaton, Winfield, Carol Stream, Warrenville, Lisle, West Chicago, Naperville and Woodridge. She is a West Point graduate and a mother of five.

Ives' entrance in the race comes after second-quarter campaign finance data filed with the Federal Election Commission showed Sanguinetti trailing Casten in fundraising.

Sanguinetti raised $103,647.38 during the second quarter - including $5,600 she loaned her campaign - and finished the period with $69,870 of campaign cash on hand, records show.

Casten, meanwhile, raised $737,693 and closed the quarter with $898,888.99 on hand.

A Sanguinetti campaign spokesman said Thursday her side had been hearing rumblings about a potential run by Ives for some time.

"We welcome Jeanne to the race and look forward to showing why Evelyn is the conservative with the best chance to beat Casten," Sanguinetti's campaign said in a written statement.

Casten's campaign said his effort to seek re-election will focus on lowering health care costs, reducing taxes and tackling the existential threat of climate change.

"Jeanne Ives and Evelyn Sanguinetti both embrace an extreme partisan ideology that would deny a woman's right to choose and raise our health care costs. They both strongly support President (Donald) Trump and they both are wildly out of touch with the concerns of the 6th Congressional District," Chloe Hunt, Casten's campaign manager, said in a news release.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee jumped into the fray Thursday as well, with spokesman Mike Gwin saying in a news release the Republican primary is shaping up to be between "a floundering Evelyn Sanguinetti and a far-right wing Jeanne Ives."

The 6th District stretches from Naperville to Tower Lakes and includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

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Evelyn Sanguinetti
  Sean Casten was elected to the 6th Congressional District seat in 2018. Bev Horne/
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