Biden in Illinois Friday to rally Democrats ahead of Tuesday vote; Harris in city Sunday

The president and vice president are hitting Illinois to boost the Democratic turnout.

SHARE Biden in Illinois Friday to rally Democrats ahead of Tuesday vote; Harris in city Sunday
President Biden Attends Rally For Democratic Candidates In Florida

President Joe Biden speaks during a rally at Florida Memorial University on Tuesday for gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Senate candidate Val Demings.

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The White House confirmed Wednesday that President Joe Biden will stump in Illinois Friday, ahead of Tuesday’s midterm balloting — likely in the Chicago area — and Vice President Kamala Harris hits Chicago on Sunday.

Biden will lead a get-out-the-vote event for Democrats with a focus on boosting suburban Chicago congressional incumbents — Reps. Sean Casten, Lauren Underwood and Bill Foster — who are in races that may be tightening.

A source said White House advance personnel and members of the Secret Service already had been in Chicago preparing for a possible presidential visit.

Campaigns have also been told a Biden and Harris visit is pending with planning Wednesday still in the works for both events. Biden may also be in the Chicago area on Saturday to help Democrats.

The Democratic Party of Illinois said Harris will rally with Democrats on Sunday. The vice president’s office said Harris on Sunday will also “deliver remarks” at an Asian American and Pacific Islander event in Chicago. Sources said that event is for the AAPI Victory Fund, a political action committee. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., an Asian American, and on the Tuesday ballot, is also scheduled to attend the event.

Harris is the first woman, first Black person and Asian American person to be vice president.

Biden, Harris stumping in blue states; Obama on swing state mission

Harris is headlining a get-out-the-vote event Wednesday in Boston for the Democratic Massachusetts ticket. On Thursday, Harris will be in New York to boost turnout for New York Democrats.

Biden was in Florida on Tuesday campaigning for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist and Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., who is running for the Senate.

On Thursday, Biden travels to Albuquerque, New Mexico. And on election eve Biden goes to Columbia, Maryland, for a Democratic National Committee get-out-the-vote rally.

In the closing days of the campaign, Biden, struggling with low approval ratings, and Harris have stumped in blue states, where they have the best potential of maximizing Democratic votes.

Former President Barack Obama has been dispatched to campaign in the crucial swing states of Georgia, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona with a stop in Pennsylvania on Saturday.

Suburban congressional update

Casten, from Downers Grove, is facing Republican Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau. On Wednesday, the Congressional Leadership Fund — which supports Republicans — said it is making a $1.8 million ad buy in the closing days of the campaign. The Democratic House Majority PAC, according to a Wednesday Politico story, made a $650,000 ad buy to bolster Casten.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., will campaign with Pekau on Friday at a fundraiser in Oak Brook.

In the remap, Democrats designed the new 6th Congressional District to be Democratic, but it does contain GOP turf and areas where Casten is campaigning for the first time.

Foster, of Naperville, faces Republican Catalina Lauf of Woodstock in the 11th District. In October, the Republican-allied Club for Growth PAC jumped in, spending $1 million to boost Lauf.

White House statement on latest gun violence in Chicago, U.S.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, noting recent gun violence in Chicago and other cities, said in a statement: “Over the last day and a half, more families across our country have been scarred by the devastating impacts of gun violence in America, including reports of a shooter today targeting two law enforcement officers from a rooftop in Newark, New Jersey. 

“Last night in Houston, award-winning recording artist Kirshnick Khari Ball, also known as Takeoff, lost his life at 28 years old, and two others were injured. In Chicago, 14 were injured by gunfire — including three children — and one injured by a vehicle as she tried to flee last night. In Kansas City, six were injured and a teenager was killed at a Halloween party. These are only the shootings that made national headlines. In other cases, we may not know the names of the victims, but we equally mourn with their families and communities. Our deepest condolences are with the families of each and every one of the victims.

“Enough is enough. Gun violence in this country is an epidemic that will not end with thoughts and prayers alone. President Biden will continue to do everything in his power to reduce gun violence, including by calling on Congress to increase community violence intervention funding, ensure universal background checks, and send legislation to his desk banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. It’s past time we turn our pain into purpose,” the statement said.

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