By Jamey Dunn
Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner today announced his choice of a suburban city councilwoman as his running mate.
Evelyn Sanguinetti was elected to the Wheaton City Council in 2011. She also served as an assistant attorney general under former Attorney General Jim Ryan. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis before she ran for city council.
Sanguinetti is the daughter of Cuban and Ecuadorian immigrants and was born in Florida.
“The Untied States pretty much presented the only and last shot they had,” she said of her parents in a video announcing her as Rauner’s running mate. Sanguinetti said her family received public aid when she was a child. She said she supports safety net programs, but she believes that government has grown too large. “Government should be in the business of giving us safe roads, sound sidewalks, police and fire protection. Delivering lower taxes, keeping things lean. I believe in the safety net, but when government grows too large and taxes too much, it does not create opportunity. It gets in the way. This is why businesses are leaving Illinois.”
She also had some choice words for teacher’s unions. “These unions in Chicago, the school teachers’ unions, are really failing their kids.” Sanguinetti said she did not do well when she started elementary school because she says she “was uninspired and disinterested” and so were her teachers. She said that going to a magnet school changed that for her, and she wants to give the same opportunity to Illinois children now. “We’re going to have to take on the system to get that done,” she said. “Bruce is not afraid. I’m not either. We’re ready for this challenge. The kids of Illinois are worth it.”
She noted that neither she nor Rauner has ever served at the state level, which fits into Rauner’s narrative as an outsider candidate. “She has the talent and guts to take on the lobbyists, special interests and career politicians that are destroying this state and eliminating opportunities for the next generation,” Rauner said about Sanguinetti in a written statement.
Rauner is the last Republican primary candidate to choose his running mate. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford chose Steve Kim, the 2010 Republican candidate for attorney general. Sen. Kirk Dillard picked Quincy Republican state Rep. Jil Tracy.
This is the first year that candidates for governor pick their running mates under a new law. Previously, lieutenant governor and governor candidates ran separately in the primary and then the winners paired up in the general election. The law was put into place after Scott Lee Cohen won the Democratic lieutenant governor nomination in 2010. Allegations of domestic abuse and steroid use surfaced, and Cohen was pushed off the ticket. The Democratic Central Committee went with Gov. Pat Quinn’s choice, Sheila Simon. Quinn has yet to pick his a new running mate. Simon is not seeking reelection because she is challenging Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.