Chicago mayoral election: Vallas denounces DeSantis visit to Chicago

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will be in west suburban Elmhurst on Monday speaking before a crowd of law enforcement.

The invitation-only event is hosted by the Fraternal Order of Police Chicago Lodge 7. A copy of the invitation shared with Fox 32 states that the event is open to law enforcement only and no spouses will be allowed.

The event, titled "Law and Order for Illinois," comes as the Florida governor is rumored to be exploring a run for the Oval Office.

The national FOP's backing is among the most sought-after endorsements by presidential contenders.


DeSantis' visit also comes in the midst of a heated mayoral election in Chicago.

The FOP has backed challenger, Paul Vallas who said in a written statement, "there’s no place in our city for a right-wing extremist like DeSantis."

"I am disappointed in FOP leadership for inviting him to speak to officers. 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," Vallas' statement went on to say.

"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."

Mayoral rival, Congressman Chuy Garcia, pointed to the FOP's continued backing of Vallas as evidence that, "he won't be a mayor for all Chicagoans. He told a group of seniors he would be."


"I want to lead the city of Chicago during this very challenging time to bring all of our people together and have a government that is responsive, that is inclusive and that takes everyone into account," Garcia said.

Much of this is about an election that has nothing to do with the White House or city hall. Chicago's local Fraternal Order of Police union is in the final two weeks of its own presidential election.

We'll now in early March whether the FOP's firebrand leader John Catanzara has won another term or not.