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Romney backers host last-minute Chicago fundraiser

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are holding last-minute fundraiser in President Barack Obama’s hometown Friday night, just a few days before voters head to the polls to cast ballots in what has become a very tight race for the White House.

The goal is to rake in $2 million for Republican groups to be spent on media ads in swing states during the waning days of the 2012 election.

The event is being hosted by businessman Ron Gidwitz, who launched an unsuccessful bid for Illinois governor in 2006 and now heads a super PAC that has been funneling money into a handful of hotly-contested Illinois House races.

“This fundraiser is – promises to be the last fundraiser in Illinois and may be one of the last fundraisers of the Romney campaign,” Gidwitz said.

Tickets start at $2,500 for a cocktail hour at Gidwitz’s home on Chicago’s North Side, which will be followed by a $10,000-a-plate chicken dinner. Expected guests include Romney’s older brother, Scott, a corporate lawyer from Michigan; Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, the chair of Romney’s Illinois presidential campaign; and U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, R-Ill.

Illinoisans have already donated nearly $12 million to Romney’s presidential campaign, according to federal campaign finance records. But the president’s adopted home state has pitched in nearly $80 million.

Democrats have also been squeezing in some down-to-the-wire fundraising.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Mayor Rahm Emanuel headlined a Chicago fundraiser Thursday night for Democratic congressional candidates in some tight Illinois races. Ticket prices ranged from $250 to $2,500 a piece, according to Democratic sources.

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