Sanguinetti drops out of congressional race for Casten's seat

Former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has dropped out of the Republican primary race for the 6th Congressional District seat held by U.S. Rep. Sean Casten.

Sanguinetti's exit leaves former Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jeanne Ives as the front-runner for the GOP nomination in a key political battleground for 2020.

Sanguinetti's campaign announced she was pulling out of the race one day after perennial candidate Gordon "Jay" Kinzler said he was making his second attempt at the GOP nod in the 6th District, a party stronghold from 1972 through 2018.

Ives and Sanguinetti both are from Wheaton. Kinzler is a urologist from Glen Ellyn. Casten is a Downers Grove Democrat.

"It is with deep regret that I must announce that I have officially decided to end my campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Congress for the 6th Congressional District of Illinois," Sanguinetti said in a statement. "I want to thank everyone that supported me through volunteering, financial contributions, and words of encouragement and support. I am sorry if this announcement lets you down.

"Although I firmly believe that I can and will win the nomination if I stayed in the race, the question in my mind is at what cost. There has been enough destruction in the Republican Party from past election cycles, and I choose not to contribute further to it by engaging in a costly and negative campaign against my opponents. I wish the remaining candidates all the best, and I encourage all Republicans to unite behind the eventual nominee for the good of the party and more importantly the nation as we continue the fight to stop socialism and to protect the American dream for future generations."

Former U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton held the 6th District seat for 12 years before losing to Casten last November amid a suburban voter swing to the left.

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.

Ives raised more than $340,000 in the third quarter, according to her campaign.

Sanguinetti raised $103,647 during the second quarter, including $5,600 she loaned her campaign, but had yet to file her third-quarter numbers before withdrawing her bid.

"The voters in this district made a clear choice in 2018 that they wanted a representative that fought for their values and a future that protects our planet and future generations to come," Casten campaign manager Chloe Hunt said in a statement. "The Republican Party of today and Donald Trump have left Republican voters behind. Evelyn Sanguinetti dropping out of the race is a clear indicator that the extreme far-right partisan ideology and support of Donald Trump and his hateful rhetoric and policies is wildly out of touch with the concerns of the 6th Congressional District."

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

Evelyn Sanguinetti announces her candidacy for the 6th Congressional District seat during an April appearance in Wheaton. On Friday, she announced she is dropping out of the Republican primary race. Daily Herald file photo
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