Vice President-elect Mike Pence spoke at a closed-door Republican fundraiser in downtown Chicago Friday.
Among 200 or so protesters outside the venue, one stood out. For one thing, he bore an uncanny resemblance to the vice president-elect.
Then there was his outfit: A conservative grey blazer and power tie, matched with vintage blue polyester short-shorts — a.k.a. “hot pants” — which inspired his moniker: “Mike Hot Pence.”
The man in the costume — Glen Pannell, a graphic designer from New York City — had the legs to pull it off.
The character started as a Halloween costume, but Pannell revived it after the election.
“I was feeling despondent and powerless and wanted some way to take action,” he said. “I got back into my Mike Hot Pence costume and went out and started raising money.”
He carries a plastic jar, collecting donations for Planned Parenthood, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and other groups.
For the last few weeks, he’s been walking around Times Square, but he came to Chicago to match his namesake’s effort.
“He’s out here collecting money for causes he believes in, so I’m outside collecting money for causes that I believe in,” said Pannell.
Tickets for Pence’s fund-raiser started at $2,700 per person. According to a Pence aide the vice president-elect raised about $1 million for the Republican National Committee.
Among the members of the host committee were Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, state GOP chairman Tim Schneider and Republican members of Illinois’ congressional delegation.
Photos of the event posted Friday on Pence’s Twitter account show about 70 people at The Chicago Club.
The crowd outside dwindled steadily over two hours. Mike Hot Pence was among the very last to leave.
Dan Weissmann is a reporter for WBEZ. Follow him at @danweissmann.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.