Election

Rudy Giuliani to headline fundraiser for suburban congressional hopeful

Former New York City mayor and Donald Trump ally Rudy Giuliani will visit Oak Brook later this month to headline a fundraiser for a Republican seeking Illinois’ 6th Congressional District seat.

Giuliani, a member of Trump’s legal team and one of the more prominent promoters of unproven voter fraud allegations in the 2020 election, will be stumping for Scott Kaspar of Orland Park.

In an email inviting supporters to the event, the Kaspar campaign billed Giuliani – who was mayor during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks – as “America’s Mayor.”

Tickets to the event at the Drake Oak Brook Hotel are $500 each. Photos with Giuliani will require $5,800 donations to the Kaspar campaign. Registration is available at kasparforcongress.com.

Gubernatorial candidates Darren Bailey and Gary Rabine and attorney general candidate Tom DeVore are listed as special guests.

Kaspar is among six GOP candidates trying to unseat incumbent Democrat Sean Casten of Downers Grove.

The others are Niki Conforti of Glen Ellyn, Rob Cruz of Oak Lawn, Burr Ridge Mayor Gary Grasso, Oak Lawn resident Catherine A. O’Shea and Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau.

In the Democratic primary, Casten is up against 3rd District Rep. Marie Newman of La Grange and Chicagoan Charles Hughes.

Kaspar has made several visits to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida during the campaign, most recently last week. He’s met with Giuliani there at least once.

In addition to Giuliani, Kaspar is getting campaign support from Bernard Kerik, who was New York City’s police commissioner under Giuliani. Kerik later pleaded guilty to felony tax fraud and making false statements and was pardoned by Trump in 2020.

Kaspar responded to emailed questions about Giuliani’s visit with a prepared statement in which he spoke about the drop in New York City’s murder rate during Giuliani’s and Kerik’s time in office. He didn’t say if Giuliani is being paid for the appearance.

Grasso was the only Kaspar rival to share an opinion about Giuliani’s visit.

“While we all respect former Mayor Giuliani for his leadership during 9/11 and for his public service, I believe local endorsements of current public officials and leaders mean much more to undecided voters,” Grasso said in an email. Grasso’s notable backers include former GOP House leaders Jim Durkin and Tom Cross, more than a dozen mayors and DuPage County Board Chair Dan Cronin.

Across the aisle, Newman’s campaign noted Giuliani’s pending visit in fundraising emails. They didn’t mention Kaspar by name but said Giuliani’s presence “is going to fire up the GOP base.”

“It shows that major figures in Trump’s circle are taking this race seriously,” the Newman campaign said.

A Casten spokesman declined to comment.

The newly redrawn 6th District includes much of the west and southwest suburbs in Cook and DuPage counties.

Illinois’ primary election is June 28. The general election is Nov. 8.