Ted Cruz to headline suburban event days before Illinois primary

  • Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is scheduled to headline a suburban event days before Illinois' March 15 primary.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is scheduled to headline a suburban event days before Illinois' March 15 primary. Associated Press File Photo

By Mary Hansen
Updated 2/8/2016 11:50 AM

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is scheduled to be the keynote speaker for the annual Northwest Suburban Republican Lincoln Day Dinner just days before Illinois' March 15 primary election.

The dinner, which is usually $100 per ticket, is set for March 11. No location is set.

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Mike Sweeney, a member of the Republicans of Elk Grove Township and the committee planning the event, says he hopes Cruz's speech will get people excited for the election.

"I hope that (Cruz) being here, energizing the base so close to the election, reminds people to get out and vote," he said.

Many of the candidates for president are campaigning in New Hampshire today ahead of Tuesday's primary vote. Meanwhile, their organizations across the country are looking ahead to the next primaries, including Illinois.

The dinner has hosted presidential hopefuls in the past, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

While Illinois recently has leaned Democratic in November presidential elections, Sweeney believes the state's vote in the primary will be important for Republican candidates as the lineup remains in flux.

"The Northwest suburbs are recognized as having a strong Republican presence," Sweeney said.

The annual dinner raises money for local Republican organizations, which might or might not back Cruz in the primary.

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