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.”