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BELLEVILLE, IL — Six days out from a historic midterm election, Vice President Joe Biden this afternoon urged an excited crowd of Southern Illinoisans to get out and vote. Nearly 800 people packed the Iron Workers Local 392 hall in East St. Louis and spilled out the doors to hear from Vice President Biden, Brendan Kelly and gubernatorial candidate JB Pritzker. Senator Dick Durbin, candidate for Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton, candidate for Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, and Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs also spoke. Congresswoman Cheri Bustos presided as master of ceremonies.

Today’s rally proves that voters in Southern Illinois are ready and excited for leader who actually listens to them, instead of a leader bankrolled by Big Banks, Big Pharma, and billionaires like Bruce Rauner.

“The flood of money that has come into our political system has corrupted our democracy and it is tearing this country apart. We have to fight against it. So we literally have to rebuild Southern Illinois. We also have to rebuild our faith in democracy itself,” said Brendan Kelly, candidate for Illinois’ 12th Congressional district. “That’s going to require some courage. It’s going to require some courage from all of you. This election will not be about my power. This election is going to be about YOUR power. Because in this final hour, at the end here, we need the courage to keep going. It is not enough to be right — we have to fight! Are you ready to vote? Do you have the courage?”

After Brendan spoke, Vice President Joe Biden, an early endorser of Brendan, took the stage:

“The values that we were raised to believe in as kids: the values of honor, honesty, courage, commitment, integrity — you know, these values have driven Brendan’s entire career. As a prosecutor, Brendan took a fight that was near and dear to my son Beau — as a prosecutor, [Brendan] created a Children’s Justice Division to go after one of the most heinous crimes imaginable, the abuse of children,” said Vice President Joseph Biden. He continued, “We’re in a situation where the character of the country is on the ballot. The only thing that unites us is our ideals. The fact of the matter is they’re kind of simple. … That’s what Tuesday’s all about. Let’s make it clear, we Democrats, we choose hope over fear! We choose unity over division! Folks, we can do this! So it’s time to get up — let’s take back the world! This is America — there’s nothing we can’t do, and I mean it—I mean it. Vote, vote, vote, vote vote!”

Brendan Kelly is running for Congress in Illinois’s 12th Congressional District. The son of lifelong public servants, Brendan grew up in Southern Illinois. After serving in the Navy, he came home to raise his family. As the elected prosecutor of the largest county in the district, Brendan has fought corruption in both parties, prioritized prosecution of children’s sex assault, and successfully sued several of the nation’s biggest banks. He was the first prosecutor in Illinois to file suit against big pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid crisis. Brendan is endorsed by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Representative Cheri Bustos, AFL-CIO, United Steelworkers, and AFSCME, among others. To learn more, please visit www.brendan4southernillinois.com.

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