Kinzler now third GOP candidate seeking Casten's U.S. House seat
Perennial candidate Gordon "Jay" Kinzler announced Thursday he will run in an already contested Republican primary for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. Sean Casten in the 6th Congressional District.
Kinzler, a urologist from Glen Ellyn, will make his second attempt for the Republican nomination in the district, but he faces two high-profile GOP rivals fighting to take on Casten, a freshman Democrat from Downers Grove.
Kinzler's opponents -- former Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jeanne Ives and former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti -- launched their bids months ago, setting the stage for one of the most closely watched primary races in the state.
A key political battleground in 2020, the 6th District was a GOP stronghold from 1972 through 2018. Former U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton held the seat for 12 years before losing to Casten last November amid a suburban voter swing to the left.
Roskam easily defeated Kinzler, a colonel in the Army Reserve and former Glen Ellyn Park District commissioner, in their 2016 matchup for the Republican nod. At the time, Kinzler argued that Roskam wasn't conservative enough.
Last November, Kinzler also lost his bid to unseat Democratic incumbent Deb Conroy of Villa Park in the 46th state House District.
Kinzler made no mention of Ives or Sanguinetti -- both former Wheaton City Council members -- in his congressional campaign announcement.
"Just as I have felt the call of duty to serve in the U.S. military and serve my patients, I feel the call of duty to serve the people of Illinois' 6th Congressional District," Kinzler said in a statement. "I pledge to represent and serve our constituents, not big donors and special interests."
A Sanguinetti spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An Ives spokeswoman said in an email: "We welcome any challengers and look forward to defeating Sean Casten in 2020."
Roskam is backing Ives, who also has been endorsed by the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, and the House Freedom Fund, the political action committee of the Freedom Caucus.
Sanguinetti has touted endorsements from DuPage County and township Republicans.
The C-shaped district stretches from Naperville to Tower Lakes and encompasses parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.