Former Illinois Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti (R) this weekend announced that she will end her 2020 congressional bid. She had entered the race to attempt to unseat freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-Downers Grove) but faced a Republican primary opposite conservative former state Rep. Jeanne Ives, the gubernatorial candidate who held incumbent Bruce Rauner to just a 51% primary victory that left him in a politically weakened state. He would go onto lose the 2018 general election to current Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) in a 55-39% landslide. Ms. Ives will now almost assuredly square off against Rep. Casten in a seat that Republicans formerly held in the person of then-Rep. Peter Roskam.
A total of 219 House Democrats and one Independent have signed the petition pledge indicating they will vote for at least some version of an impeachment resolution. Doing so would impeach, or indict, the President, and send the charge to the Senate for a potential trial and motion to remove from office. Among the signers are several members who have competitive re-elections, are in Trump districts, or have primary competition. The lone Independent, Rep. Justin Amash (I-MI), will likely face attacks from both sides as he presumably seeks re-election as an Independent or minor party nominee.
The Democrats supporting impeachment who already face credible general election opposition are (listed alphabetically by name) Reps: Cindy Axne (IA), Gil Cisneros (CA), Sharice Davids (KS), Antonio Delgado (NY), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Lizzie Fletcher (TX), Andy Kim (NJ), Susie Lee (NV), Elaine Luria (VA), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL), Chris Pappas (NH), Katie Porter (CA), Harley Rouda (CA), Elissa Slotkin (MI), Abigail Spanberger (VA), and Lauren Underwood (IL).
Twelve-term Illinois Congressman John Shimkus (R-Collinsville) announced that he will not seek re-election next year becoming the 18th member who won’t be running another term in the House. The Congressman said he is announcing his decision now because candidates will begin circulating nominating petitions next week. The 15th District covers southeastern Illinois and is a safe Republican seat. President Trump carried the district, 71-24%, a stronger performance than Mitt Romney’s 63-43% margin. Mr. Shimkus was re-elected with 71% of the vote last November.
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.
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