WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is heading to Chicago on June 28 for a fundraiser to benefit his re-election campaign hosted by billionaire Gov. JB Pritzker and his wife, M.K.
The White House announced the visit Tuesday night, with several sources telling the Sun-Times the main focus of the trip is the fundraiser, coming two days before June 30, the end of the second fundraising quarter. Another Biden fundraiser in San Francisco the week before is in the works — with possibly more funders before the end of June.
The Pritzker fundraiser, expected to draw the Chicago area’s most substantial Democratic donors, will bolster the president’s fundraising numbers — a political scorecard of sorts — when they are released in mid-July.
Some of these same donors — and Pritzker — are also expected to be the financial backbone for the Democratic National Convention that Chicago is hosting in August 2024. The host committee, Development Now for Chicago, promised the Democratic National Committee $84.697 million in its bid. Pritzker has pledged substantial host committee fundraising help.
The White House reached out to Pritzker’s team, asking him to host the event, which is to benefit the Biden Victory Fund. That fund is a joint fundraising committee authorized by Biden for President, the Democratic National Committee and a variety of state Democratic parties, including the one in Illinois.
In May, the Biden-Harris 2024 reelection campaign named Pritzker as one of 50 members of its National Advisory Board, who, the campaign said, “will take a leadership role in helping deliver President Biden and Vice President [Kamala] Harris’ message and engage voters across the country.”
Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison was in Chicago on Tuesday, keynoting the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce’s 119th annual membership meeting at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
He touted the economic benefits the convention will bring to the city, where some 50,000 people attending the event will be “buying stuff here in Chicago.”
Harrison also said he hoped the “kids” of Chicago — some of whom never get downtown — will be able to see the United Center when it is all decked out for the nightly convention sessions where Biden and Harris will be nominated for a second term and deliver their speeches. Harrison also said the DNC will be bringing “some of our top donors in the country” to Chicago in the fall to “give them a preview of the convention here in Chicago.”
Harrison was last in Chicago on April 12, the day after the DNC announced Chicago’s winning bid to host the 2024 convention. Before his speech, Harrison met briefly with Mayor Brandon Johnson to touch base on convention planning.
The next step is for the Democratic National Committee to name a chief executive for the convention.
Speaking of Pritzker and fundraising: The governor so far this year has donated $1 million to the Democratic Party of Illinois. The JB for Governor Committee gave the party $500,000 in February and transferred another $500,000 on June 1, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.