CHICAGO (WLS) -- Darren Bailey is hoping that Tulsi Gabbard might hold the key to unlocking the vote of soft Democrats and suburban women with eight days until the election.
The two attended a lunchtime fundraiser in Palatine on Monday.
Gabbard is a former congresswoman from Hawaii who ran for president in 2020 and then, earlier this month, announced she was quitting the Democratic Party because of the direction it was headed.
"With this last week before the election, my message to voters here is to really look at what things matter to you most to yourself to your kids and your family, and which candidate best will fight for you and be your voice," Gabbard said.
Gov. JB Pritzker started his day in Arlington Heights, campaigning with two state lawmakers and chatting with voters at local businesses, talking about the economy and other key issues for Democrats.
"We're focused on making sure people know I stand up for a woman's right to choose and Democrats do and that Republicans are telling a lot of lies hoping that in a Hail Mary fashion somehow win the race," Pritzker said.
How much of a factor Gabbard's endorsement of Bailey might be is unclear. While she is a former Democrat, she's not very well known, and the Pritzker campaign believes she has baggage.
"She's a pro-Russian conspiracy theorist. She's somebody that since she used to be a genuine democrat clearly has bought in to some of Facebook fakery and the kind of on line lies that we're seeing," Pritzker said.
Bailey dismissed concerns about Gabbard.
"I see Tulsi Gabbard as someone who realizes America is in trouble. She realizes Illinois is in trouble. She realizes Chicago, and she realizes that the failed policies of what she once stood for simply aren't working," Bailey said.
Monday night there was a full ballot roll call for Republicans at a rally in DuPage County. Attorney General candidate Tom DeVore and U.S. Senate candidate Kathy Salvi both promised to work for their conservative constituency.
"They have no idea what Darren Bailey has built," said Stephanie Trussell, Bailey's running mate. "This is a movement."
Both Bailey and Pritzker will begin the sprint to Election Day Tuesday with dozens of stops all across the state over the next week.