Rep. Steve Scalise was scheduled to deliver the keynote address to Republicans at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday, one day after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to Democrats.
Scalise, the House GOP Whip, was scheduled to speak at the Republican Day Rally on the fairgrounds beginning at around 12 p.m. CST. This year's State Fair festivities mark the first since 2014 during which a Democrat has held the Illinois governor's office, following Gov. J.B. Pritzker's defeat of incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner last fall.
"Whip Scalise is a fierce advocate for the values of the Republican Party," Illinois Republican Party Chair Tim Schneider said in an email touting the event featuring the Louisiana congressman, who was critically wounded in a shooting at a congressional baseball team practice in June 2017.
"The way he fought himself back after the horrific shooting targeting Republican congressmen in 2017 is truly inspirational," Schneider continued. "We look forward to hearing him speak and rallying the party faithful at the State Fair!"
The previous day, Pelosi gave the keynote speech at the Illinois Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch, applauding liberal victories in the first half-year of Pritzker's tenure and blaming the GOP majority in the U.S. Senate for stymieing the Democrats' agenda on Capitol Hill.