First-term congressman Sean Casten was unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Illinois’ 6th District, which covers parts of the west and northwest suburbs – but in the general election he’ll face outspoken competition from Republican candidate Jeanne Ives, a former state representative from Wheaton who served three terms in the Illinois House.
Ives says the developing coronavirus pandemic will need a massive federal response that’s focused on keeping businesses open so workers are sure they’ll have a paycheck – but she wants to make sure the package passed isn’t a blank check.
“We’re in unprecedented, uncharted territory at this point,” Ives said Thursday on “Chicago Tonight.” “As long as the assistance is temporary and targeted to the people who need it the most and the businesses that need to stay open, then that’s the type of relief we should be able to provide at the federal level.”
Ives disagrees with critics of President Donald Trump who say his administration didn’t react quickly enough to contain the crisis. “I think they’ve handled it as best as can be expected, because, again, nobody’s used to this type of crisis as well,” she said. “President Trump did the best thing possible when he closed the border to any Chinese nationals coming over. If you weren’t an American citizen you weren’t coming in. That was the best decision that he made to help slow the spread of this virus. It could have been much worse.”
In 2018, Casten flipped the 6th District from red to blue, one of many successful candidates who rode a wave of anti-Trump sentiment. But Ives says that won’t hamper her election efforts in November, even though the president will be at the top of the ticket.
“I ran against both parties on unbalanced budgets and tax hikes and other policy decisions that were crony capitalist in nature,” Ives said Thursday. “I stand on my record of being somebody who has opposed corruption, protected women from the bullying and sexual harassment that happened in Springfield, standing up to both sides on policy issues and I'm going to be that same type of congresswoman.”