ELMHURST, Ill. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is said to be heading to a Chicago suburb next week to speak to police officers.
The Chicago Fraternal of Police Lodge has been promoting an event on Monday at an undisclosed location in Elmhurst.
The event is only open to law enforcement officers.
The local police union president tells WGN-TV he’s not organizing the event but was asked to share the invitation by DeSantis’ representatives.
The visit adds fuel to the ongoing feud between DeSantis and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker.
Pritzker said DeSantis is dangerous and his agenda has no place in Illinois.
“Well he doesn’t represent the values of the people in Illinois,” Pritzker said. “In fact, he is the antithesis of that. He’s demonstrated that he’s homophobic, that he has tendencies to promote racism.”
Pritzker also called on elected officials and candidates to condemn DeSantis’ policies.
“Paul Vallas must condemn the FOP for inviting Ron DeSantis, a dangerous and xenophobic authoritarian to our state,” a statement on Thursday from Chicago Mayoral candidate Chuy Garcia read. “In Florida, Ron DeSantis has banned books, pushed a homophobic and anti-trans agenda, and questioned the integrity of our elections.”
On Friday mayoral candidate Paul Vallas, who is endorsed by the Chicago FOP, said he is disappointed in FOP leadership and there is no place in Chicago for a “right-wing extremist” like DeSantis.
“DeSantis’ record of trying to erase the LGBTQ community, banning books on Black history and much more is not in line with my values, the values of our community, or the values of the rank and file police officers who I believe have no interest in getting swept up in culture wars and national Republican Party politics,” the statement from Vallas read. “I want to build trust between all of Chicago’s communities and the police by holding everyone accountable, because that is the only way we can make our city safer. This decision by the FOP leadership makes that job harder.”
DeSantis’ office did not respond to an inquiry.