Biden and Harris to visit Illinois before midterms
👋 Hi, it's Justin! Welcome to a special Friday edition of our Trail Mix political column.
What's happening: President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are coming to Illinois to rally voters before an Election Day with important congressional seats on the line.
Why it matters: Illinois is a blue state with a redistricted map that strengthened Democrats' chances in 2022, but Republicans believe they can win in some suburban districts.
Zoom in: Biden is scheduled to join Democrats in the Chicago area for a rally today.
- Harris is scheduled to be in the area Sunday for an event on the South Side with Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who is running for re-election against Republican Kathy Salvi.
The other side: Casten's Republican challenger, Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau, is holding a fundraiser tonight with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
- The Congressional Leadership Fund said this week it's making a $1.8 million ad buy for Pekau as Election Day approaches.
Beale vs. Proft
Alderperson Anthony Beale (9th) is livid with GOP political operative Dan Proft for using old footage of him in a new anti-Pritzker ad.
What's happening: The ad uses a quote from the South Side alderperson, who was angry with Pritzker back in 2018 after FBI wiretaps of Pritzker and former Gov. Rod Blagojevich became public.
- In the recordings, Pritzker made disparaging comments about Illinois' Black politicians.
What they're saying: Beale is calling for Proft to remove him from the ad or spike it entirely, saying in a press release that he, "did not gain my permission or consent to use my image or words."
- "Rather, he took a sentence said years ago out of context in a crass attempt to diminish the vote for Governor Pritzker by implying that I am critical of the governor. Nothing could be farther from the truth."
Zoom out: Secretary of State Jesse White is also calling for Proft to remove the "highly offensive" ad.
Meanwhile, the Sun-Times is reporting that Proft is behind an effort to suppress the Black vote in Chicago.
- When we asked Proft if he'd like to comment, he wrote back, "No."
Early Voting Numbers
According to the Chicago Board of Elections, 164,563 midterm ballots have been cast in Chicago so far, including:
- 81,421 early ballots.
- 83,142 mail-in ballots.
As for the whole state, 968,886 ballots have been cast:
- 471,451 early voting ballots.
- 489,730 mail-in ballots.
- 7,705 "grace period" ballots.
Editor's note: This story was corrected to show that Gov. JB Pritzker will not attend the Chicago area rally.
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