CHICAGO — Former Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti of Wheaton on Friday ended her bid for the Republican nomination for the west and northwest suburban 6th Congressional District seat, setting up a potential general election contest between first-term Democratic Rep. Sean Casten and former GOP state representative and unsuccessful governor candidate Jeanne Ives.
In a statement, Sanguinetti acknowledged difficulties in raising money, saying that while she "firmly" believed she could win the nomination, "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," Sanguinetti said.
Earlier this week, Gordon "Jay" Kinzler, a transplant surgeon from Glen Ellyn who has previously sought other offices, announced he would run in the Republican primary for Casten's seat.
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But Ives, who almost upset former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in last year's GOP primary for governor, appears to be the party's clear front-runner for the seat. has shown some fundraising prowess and also has received some national conservative endorsements.
Her campaign said she raised $340,298 since she entered the race on July 18 through Sept. 30. Casten, of Downers Grove, raised $700,000 from July through September and had $1.4 million in cash on hand to start October, his campaign said.
Sanguinetti, who entered the race in April, had raised only $103,647 through June 30. She had not yet filed a third-quarter report.
Sanguinetti was seeking a second term as Rauner's lieutenant governor but the GOP team was defeated by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton in November.
In a statement, Casten linked the end of Sanguinetti's campaign to the politics of a party led by President Donald Trump.
"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," Casten said.
Tribune reporter Lisa Donovan contributed.