Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis coming to speak to Chicago FOP Monday in Elmhurst – Chicago Tribune newstrendslive

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, exploring a bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, is scheduled to speak at an invite-only event Monday in Elmhurst to members of Chicago’s Fraternal Order of Police and potentially deliver some rhetorical political payback to Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The Presidents Day visit to a so-far undisclosed location in the Chicago area would represent an escalation of the feud between DeSantis and Pritzker, who has been the focus of some speculation as a potential 2024 Democratic presidential candidate if President Joe Biden does not seek to be nominated for a second term.

In July, Pritzker was keynote speaker for a gathering of Florida Democrats in Tampa where he took aim at the Florida governor.

Pritzker assailed DeSantis as “just Donald Trump with a mask on” and, more recently, has attacked the Republican’s policies blocking some teachings of racial and gay curriculum.

In delivering his combined State of the State and budget address on Wednesday, though not mentioning DeSantis by name, Pritzker referred to a “virulent strain of nationalism plaguing our nation, led by demagogues who are pushing censorship” and the right wing who are waging an “ideological battle” that serves to “marginalize people and ideas they don’t like.”

In January, Pritzker wrote a letter to the College Board, asking it not to change the advanced placement African American Studies course “in order to fit Florida’s racist and homophobic laws.”

The College Board earlier this month said it was revising the AP course to eliminate lessons on Black Lives Matter and the reparations movement. But after the DeSantis administration criticized the curriculum as left leaning and lacking “educational value,” the College Board said the criticism amounted to “slander.” That prompted DeSantis to suggest earlier this week that his state might drop AP classes from its schools.

The DeSantis political operation did not respond to a request for comment on the reasons behind the Florida governor’s visit, which is open only to members of the law enforcement community. But a DeSantis speech to Chicago’s FOP Lodge 7, set for an undisclosed location in west suburban Elmhurst, would appear to be aimed at attacking Pritzker and Democrats over outbreaks of violent crime in the city as the mayoral election nears.

An invitation to the event said the location would be disclosed to registrants “48 hours prior to the event.”

John Catanzara, head of the Chicago police union, as well as the city and state FOP, endorsed Pritzker’s Republican opponent, Darren Bailey, in last year’s governor campaign. The Chicago FOP has endorsed challenger Paul Vallas for Chicago mayor as Lori Lightfoot seeks a second term.

Catanzara was not available for comment.

A law enforcement source said DeSantis was supposed to talk to the Chicago FOP within the last two months but that event was canceled.

Gorner reported from Springfield.



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