Former state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who challenged then-Gov. Bruce Rauner from the right in the 2018 Republican primary and held him to a 51-48% win, announced that she will enter the primary campaign to eventually challenge freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove). Ms. Ives will ironically battle Gov. Rauner’s Lt. Governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti, for the GOP congressional nomination. The winner faces an uphill battle against Rep. Casten, who unseated veteran Rep. Peter Roskam (R) in the 2018 election.
Continuing with the growing number of Democratic intra-party congressional incumbent challenges, Will County Board member Rachel Ventura is launching a primary campaign against veteran Rep. Bill Foster (D-Naperville). Mr. Foster was first elected to the neighboring 14th District in 2008 but lost the seat in the 2010 GOP landslide. He then returned with a victory in this suburban Chicago CD two years later. Ms. Ventura says she will attack Mr. Foster from his political left.
State Rep. Anne Stava-Murray (D-Downers Grove) has closed her US Senate fundraising committee, thus already ending her Democratic primary challenge to Sen. Dick Durbin virtually even before it began. Ms. Stava-Murray, in rather bizarre fashion, announced her challenge to Sen. Durbin right after she won her State Representative seat and before she was sworn into office. Thus, it is with little surprise that her Senate campaign gained no political legs.
As expected for some time, Illinois state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) announced yesterday that she will enter the crowded Republican congressional primary in the Chicago suburban 14th CD. Five other Republicans are already in the race, including state Senator and frequent candidate Jim Oberweis (R-North Aurora), but Sen. Rezin appears to be the party’s strongest potential candidate.
For her part, freshman US Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville) reports raising just over $700,000 for the second quarter and holds more than $750,000 in her campaign treasury.
In contrast to several other defeated Republican former Congressmen, ex-Rep. Randy Hultgren says it is “unlikely” that he will run again in 2020 in order to re-claim his former northern Illinois district. In November, Mr. Hultgren lost his bid for a fifth term to current freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville), 52-48%.
At this point, state Senator and frequent federal candidate Jim Oberweis (R-North Aurora) has announced his congressional candidacy along with three minor candidates. In the background, however, is state Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris), who appears to be taking steps toward constructing a congressional campaign apparatus. In what is usually a reliable seat for the GOP, we can again expect a highly competitive campaign to ensue.
Businessman and former Notre Dame football player Ted Gradel joined the forming 14th District Republican candidate field to challenge freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville). The new Congresswoman defeated Rep. Randy Hultgren (R) in 2018 to convert this long-held GOP seat to the Democratic column.
Mr. Gradel, who featured former Notre Dame head coach and college football commentator Lou Holtz in his announcement video, joins state Senator and frequent candidate Jim Oberweis, software company executive Matt Quigley, human resources corporate executive Danny Malouf, and Army veteran Anthony Catella in the GOP field of candidates. The voting history here suggests that this will be battleground campaign next year.
Former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti (R), who left office when Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) was defeated in November, said she will enter the 6th District Republican primary next year, vying for the right to challenge freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove).
With defeated former Congressman Peter Roskam (R) not making any moves to seek a re-match, Ms. Sanguinetti could well be the Republicans’ top recruitment choice. In Illinois, the Lt. Governor candidates run on a ticket with the gubernatorial nominee. Therefore, even though she is a former statewide office holder, Ms. Sanguinetti never stood for a major election in her own right. A Cuban from Florida who married a man of Italian descent, she did, however, win election to the Wheaton City Council prior to being selected as Mr. Rauner’s running mate.
The Land of Lincoln’s 13th District, a seat that includes the Capital City of Springfield and President Lincoln’s home for many years, hosted one of the closest congressional campaigns in the country last year. In November, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville) outlasted challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan by just 2,058 votes, or a 50.4 – 49.6% split. Yesterday, Ms. Londrigan announced that she will return for a re-match. It is likely she will have little to no competition in the Democratic primary, and the general election could again become close. We can count on another competitive campaign here next year, though Rep. Davis may be in stronger position in the presidential year.
In November, businessman Sean Casten defeated veteran Rep. Peter Roskam (R) by a 54-46% margin. Late last week it was reported that GOP former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay is considering entering the 2020 race. Whether or not Ms. McConnaughay runs is clearly undecided, but individuals such as she analyzing their chances is a relatively clear indication that former Rep. Roskam will not be seeking a re-match.
Local Chicago suburban business owner and state Senator Jim Oberweis (R-North Aurora), who has lost four statewide and two congressional elections is making yet another electoral attempt, but his entrance into the 14th Congressional District race is already marred. Because, according to Sen. Oberweis, a staff member inadvertently checked the wrong box on the federal political committee form, the legal race for which he filed was the US Senate; in other words, to challenge Sen. Dick Durbin (D).
The Oberweis campaign quickly reversed course after discovering the mistake and correctly filed a FEC committee to challenge freshman Rep. Lauren Underwood (D-Naperville). Expect other Republican candidates to join the field. The party leaders are wary of Mr. Oberweis’ past losing record and desire another, fresher and presumably more electable 2020 nominee.
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