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Pelosi hits Chicago on Tuesday for Dem House funder; Inslee, Gillibrand on deck

Save Our Sons recruiter Anthony Cage takes a selfie with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Ferguson St. Louis County councilwoman Rochelle Walton Gray (center left) and Ferguson councilwoman Ella Jones (right) at a restore the vote press event on Monday, March 18, 2019, at the Urban league Empowerment Center in Ferguson, Mo. | Laurie Skrivan/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP

WASHINGTON – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hits Chicago on Tuesday to headline a fundraiser for House Democrats, with events in the city coming up for Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls Jay Inslee and Kirsten Gillibrand.

The Chicago area is a must stop for Democrats on the hunt for campaign cash, with Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota senator, in Chicago on Monday for a presidential campaign fundraiser.

At this early stage in the crowded Democratic presidential field, the pitch is to give to more than one — shop around — and get to know the candidates to figure out who is the best to beat President Donald Trump.

For those not in the elite or even modest donor circles, there’s a new Democratic group in Illinois wielding their list of some 8,000 activists to lure 2020 Dem contenders to their free meet and greets. Inslee, the Washington State governor, is the guest at their kick-off event Sunday.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., up for re-election in 2020, is cranking up his fundraising. On last Sunday afternoon, Democratic activist Susan Manilow hosted a “cocktails and conversations” funder for Durbin. Nancy Kohn is handling Durbin’s 2020 fundraising.

Here’s a roundup of what’s ahead, according to invitations obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times:

Pelosi: The nation’s only female speaker is the draw at a luncheon fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee – the House Dem political shop – at the downtown offices of McDermott Will & Emery. The DCCC is chaired by Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill.

“As you know, our important work continues this cycle as we prepare to defend our 44 Frontline incumbents, including two here in Illinois, and look to expand our majority by maintaining pressure on Republican incumbents,” Pelosi said in the invitation.

Freshmen Reps. Lauren Underwood and Sean Casten are the two Illinois lawmakers Pelosi referenced, with keeping their seats key to the Democrats maintaining control of the House.

The tab runs from $5,000 to be listed as a “host” to $10,000 to be in the “Chairwoman’s Council” to $35,500 to be in the “Speaker’s Cabinet.”

Besides Bustos, the other Illinois House Dems hosting are Reps. Brad Schneider; Jan Schakowsky; Robin Kelly; Dan Lipinski; Jesus “Chuy” Garcia; and Bill Foster.

More Pelosi: The speaker returns to Chicago on May 6 to keynote Schakowsky’s “Ultimate Women’s Power Lunch” fundraiser at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave., a major annual event for the Evanston Democrat.

The “power lunch” has evolved into a networking event attracting a variety of candidates, elected and appointed officials and activists.

Illinois Women Vote and Inslee: This new partnership is formed by the leaders of three groups: Kimberly Walz, the director of Illinois Women for Hillary; Sarah Kammerer, the ChiWomen Vote founder; and Dara Chevlin Tarkowski; from Sharp Mamas.

“We decided to join forces (and lists!) to engage as many women about the 2020 presidential election. Together we have a network of over 8,000 engaged women in Illinois,” they said on their website. They will not be endorsing and have the potential to become the must stop for candidates who want exposure to voters who are not donors.

Their event with Inslee is at 4 p.m. Sunday in the West Loop. It’s free but you need to register at

DNC’s Tom Perez: The Democratic National Committee chair returns to Chicago on March 29 for a swing that includes a late breakfast at the Holland & Knight law firm in the Loop hosted by Steve Elrod that is a briefing perk for Schakowsky’s best “power lunch” supporters, those who have given the maximum for the 2019/2020 cycle.

Gillibrand: The New York senator visits Chicago on April 16 and April 17 for two fundraising events. The first funder is at Second City, for a private performance of “She the People.”

“Even if you are undecided, we would love for you to attend,” said a note in one of the invites.

The tab runs from $80.50 to $2,800 to co-chair. Wonder about that odd low-dollar amount? That is “observing,” the invite said, the “$80.50/$100 gender wage disparity.”

There’s a lunch the next day at the East Bank Club, where the hosts include Cook County Board Member Bridget Gainer and Lucy Moog, the 43rd Ward Committeeman. Tickets run from $250 to $2,800 to co-host.