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Sneed: Mike Pence has deep Chicago ties

Donald Trump and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence appear together Wednesday in Indianapolis. | Michael Conroy/AP

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Donald Trump may have chosen a lifelong Hoosier as his running mate, but Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has strong Chicago ties.

Pence, the grandson of a Chicago bus driver, is now ready to get on board the Trump train.

Trump’s veep mate addressed the City Club of Chicago months before Trump jumped into the presidential fray, speaking at the City Club in June 2015.

It was during Pence’s City Club address that his “great connection to Chicago” was discussed, informing the audience his grandfather got off the boat at Ellis Island and then took a bus to Chicago, where he lived for 40 years.

Said Pence: “My parents grew up on Chicago’s South Side, around 55th and Honore. I have family that continues to live and work in the Chicago community; my oldest brother went to Loyola University.

“I grew up in the country raised by two city folks. Christmastime meant the family would pack up and ride up to the South Side of Chicago to be with friends and family.”

Rev. Clete Kiley, the chief operations administrator for Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich, tells Sneed Pence once marched with civil rights hero U.S. Congressman John Lewis.

“He participated in the annual Congressional Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Alabama years ago,” said Kiley, who was then head of the Institute for Faith and Politics.”

“As a Republican, Pence accepted a leadership role and marched across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in memory of the civil right marches in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama,” said Kiley.

Ald. Ed Burke (14th), his wife, Justice Anne Burke, and their son, Travis, was also on that pilgrimage march with Pence in Alabama.

“It was quite a moving pilgrimage,” Burke said.


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Trumping along . . .

Just checked in with Da Coach, the legendary Grabowski Mike Ditka.

Decided to make sure the irrepressible Ditka, who turned down Donald Trump’s invite to attend and speak at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland next week, hadn’t decided to change his mind.

“Hey, Mike Sneed,” Ditka chirped.

“No, I am definitely not going. I am going to vote for him. I support him. But I am not going to that convention. I’m not a Republican. I am a conservative. What more can I say?

“And besides, who cares about my opinion anyway?”

“Hey, my time has come and gone. I don’t like to travel. I hate it. I haven’t been on a regular airline in years.

“But I did go to [former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator] Buddy Ryan’s funeral in Kentucky. It was the right thing to do. We couldn’t have won the Super Bowl without him. Some of the defensive players (Richard Dent and Dan Hampton) were pallbearers.

“You know, I’m coming to the end of the road and I still enjoy myself. I love life. I love golf and I’ll probably be that guy in the movie that dies on the golf course.

But I’m not traveling to that convention!”

Hill swill . . .

Rush. Rush. Gush.

Hillary Clinton dined on Halibut and a Caprese salad at an eyeblink luncheon Wednesday at the spectacular North Shore home of Chicago Cub-ette Laura Ricketts.

The late repaste included a boffo lakeside view, a chat about Chicago violence and the Trumpster. Then a fast bye bye to 30 big-bucks Dem diners, including Marge Benton and Fred Eychaner.

Puffed & stoked!

C’est formidable!

Pastry Chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of the French Pastry School of Chicago, was just awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government, the equivalent of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (The Legion of Honour was established in 1802 by Napoleon Bonaparte.)

The school, co-founded with Chef Sebastien Canonne, operates out of Kennedy-King college.

Pfeiffer lives in Chicago with his daughter.

Sneedlings . . .

Today’s birthdays: Taylor Kinney, 35; Graziano Pelle, 30, and Forest Whitaker, 55.

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