Former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti announced Monday that she will run for Congress in Illinois’ 6th District, a longtime Republican stronghold captured last year by Democrat Sean Casten

“I really wanted to see Sean Casten be the voice this district needed when he won election last November,” Sanguinetti said at a morning announcement in her hometown of Wheaton, according to a campaign press release. “Unfortunately, all we have is another politician cozying up to progressives and socialists in support of increased taxes and expanded government — when he should be fighting for the district he was sent to represent.”

Sanguinetti served as the state’s first Latina lieutenant governor from 2015 to 2019. Before that, she was a Wheaton city councilwoman, an assistant Illinois attorney general, and an adjunct law professor. 

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said Sanguinetti would be a “rubber stamp vote” for President Donald Trump and bring “more of the same sort of dysfunction, corruption and gridlock that she presided over in Springfield.”

Sanguinetti, who has multiple sclerosis, will make health care reform and immigration signature campaign issues, the Chicago Daily Herald reported

“When I hear things like repeal and replace and when I see that my party has had 10 years to find that replacement, I can tell you that I’m going to be that voice to say you need to protect people like me with this pre-existing condition,” she said, according to the newspaper. 

Sanguinetti also opposed the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to the Daily Herald.

The 6th District is one of numerous suburban seats that Democrats flipped in 2020 and House Republicans and Democrats have pegged it as a top battleground for 2020

Sanguinetti  will enter the race with an already well-known name and familiarity with donors. While she was on a losing statewide ticket with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner last fall, they carried the 6th District. Her connection to the unpopular Rauner, though, could be a liability, strategists from both parties said in March. 

The district, which is largely white, was drawn by the Democrat-controlled state legislature following the 2010 census to favor Republicans.

The Democratic victory there in 2018, as in the neighboring 14th District, was seen as evidence of the growing national rural-urban divide, and also as a referendum on President Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton carried the seat by 7 points in 2016. Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the race Leans Democratic.

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