With Election Day looming, Democrats, Republicans sprint to the finish line
Though they used different rhetoric, Democrats and Republicans urged the state’s residents to get out and vote before final votes are cast.
Braving the cold and wind Sunday, some campaign supporters stumped for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and the proposed move to a graduated income tax system, while others, including “Trumpocrat” former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, rallied for President Donald Trump and others in that party in a final effort to get out the vote ahead of Election Day.
At the Victory Monument in Bronzeville, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis said Foxx has “done more to restore the notion of justice in the hearts and minds of people in Cook County than I’ve ever experienced since I have watched the judicial system in this county over the last 50 years.”
Davis joined Cliff Kelley, a former alderman and WVON radio host, Ernesto Borges, a veteran of the Vietnam War who hosts a show at the radio station, and about a dozen others who gathered for a “veterans for Foxx” event.
Foxx faces Republican Pat O’Brien, a former Cook County Circuit Court judge, and Libertarian candidate Brian Dennehy in her bid for a second term.
The incumbent said she’s feeling “confident” about her chances Tuesday.
“It’s been an incredibly long campaign season,” the county’s top prosecutor said. “I’m feeling confident, but I want to make sure we get everyone out to the polls.”
Late Sunday morning, activists gathered in Pilsen to prepare for a final get-out-the-vote push in immigrant communities throughout the Chicago area.
As a handful of outreach workers gathered to collect flyers and yard signs at Casa Michoacan, 1638 S. Blue Island Ave., one community leader told reporters the immigrant vote will be pivotal in deciding some races on Tuesday’s ballot.
“Democracy can only work if everyone is involved,” said Bassem Kawar, political director for the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, whose organization is on track to directly reach out to over 350,000 immigrants and make over 1 million outreach calls by Election Day.
While the coalition must remain nonpartisan based on its nonprofit status, Kawar explained his team is encouraging immigrants in and around Chicago to support Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s “Fair Tax” amendment.
“With all the disinvestment that’s targeting Black and Brown communities, this is a source of revenue,” said Kawar. “The ‘Fair Tax’ will generate $3 billion that can be invested in health care, that can be invested in our schools.”
He added: “Immigrant communities are hard workers. They deserve the tax cut that the ‘Fair Tax’ amendment will provide to our communities, while ensuring that the rich — the top 3% — are finally paying their fair share.”
Opponents say the proposal opens the door for further tax hikes down the road to pay off the state’s massive debts.
South of the monument and Pilsen, over 100 supporters of the president — some wearing masks and some opting not to — waved flags bearing his name and slogan “Make America Great Again” for a rally in support of Trump and other Republicans on the ballot at Firewater Saloon in Mount Greenwood.
Republican candidates for office — including Mark Curran, who is running against Sen. Dick Durbin, and Mike Fricilone, who is running against Marie Newman for the seat in the state’s 3rd Congressional District, spoke for themselves at the rally.
Devin Jones, the Republican committeeman of the 18th Ward, said there would be “economic disaster” if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is elected and Trump is trying to “authentically level the playing field.”
Christine McGovern, who helped organize the rally, said the event’s goal was twofold: reelect Trump and assist others and support local businesses “because in Chicago there’s no way outdoor dining will work.”
“He is going to continue to prioritize America,” McGovern said. “That is the most important thing — prioritize American citizens [in a way that Biden wouldn’t] … He wants to continue his path, increasing business, increasing law and order, increasing health care for people, improving education our whole educational system is flawed … and some people can gain from all that being flawed. He wants to make it unflawed, so everyone can improve.”
Those present didn’t need to be convinced to reelect Trump or vote for some of the other Republicans on the ballot.
Kathy Dalby, who lives in the area and wore American-flag pants and a red “USA” cap bearing the number “45” on the side, said she voted early for the president who “captured the hearts of Americans who love this country.”
“The economy is great,” Dalby said. “He loves this country, and that’s the most important thing.”
Blagojevich, the disgraced former governor whose prison sentence was commuted by Trump earlier this year, jabbed at Durbin and the Democratic Party, which he said has “sold out working people.” Trump, he said, “is on the side of the working men and women of our country.”
Mary Ann Krueger, a nurse, said Trump’s anti-abortion policies are a big reason behind her support. She’s “praying he can bring back the economy” and bolster the country’s military and employment figures during a second term.
“I’ve never seen anyone work so hard — of all the presidents I’ve lived through, he’s accomplished the most,” Krueger said. “I don’t know why people are complaining.”