One of Illinois' most closely watched congressional races nationwide, between Peter Roskam and Sean Casten, received some political starpower on Monday, though not without resistance.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio traveled to Illinois' 6th District to campaign with incumbent Roskam, engaged in a very tight re-election fight.
"This is more than just about words, per se. It's about what's behind those words that have affected American politics," Rubio said. "And that is a cycle of anger and outrage that drives all sides of this political debate."
"I'm a strong proponent of the universal background checks," Roskam said during the event. "I was heralded by The Daily Herald when I voted against the concealed carry reciprocity bill."
Rubio's presence spurred protests near the campaign site, with demonstrators holding signs that read "Healthcare is a human right" and "Life is a pre-existing condition."
The contest is expected to be decided by suburban women, with healthcare and coverage of pre-existing conditions considered to be key issues.
"People pay attention to healthcare," said Holly Hootman, a 6th District who joined Monday's protest. "It's not like taxes or any of the other things. We pay attention to the details, because our lives depend on it."
Following the synagogue shooting this weekend in Pittsburgh, Democrat first-time candidate Casten noted Rubio’s support for the National Rifle Association.
"People are dying, and there needs to be a little bit more seriousness about what's going on," Casten said, adding, "Remember when Rubio was leading the #NeverTrump movement? It seems like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?"
This is expected to Roskam's toughest re-election fight since joining Congress.
"Sean Casten is not running the type of campaign that demonstrates any type of capacity to do anything on a bipartisan basis," Roskam said.
Casten insists he is focusing on issues the district cares about.
"I am quite confident that this is a race about values and what matters and standing up for the values that have always been common to this district," Casten said.
Roskam did not attend this weekend's rally with President Donald Trump in downstate Illinois. On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden will be in town, yet Casten does not plan now to be there.