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Big Romney fundraiser in Chicago days before election

Just four days before the election, Republican

Mitt Romney

's backers will hold a fundraiser in President

Barack Obama

’s hometown to buy last-minute TV airtime in the remaining battleground states, a source close to the campaign said Tuesday.

The event is scheduled for Friday evening, Nov. 2., at the

Gold Coast

home of businessman Ron Gidwitz and his wife, Christina. Supporters hope to generate at least $1 million, said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the event. That money comes on top of an estimated $6 million that Romney has raised in the Chicago area.

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Gidwitz is a former unsuccessful

GOP

candidate for Illinois governor who also is involved in running a super political action committee backing Republican congressional candidates.

The reception won't feature Romney. On hand will be Virginia Gov.

Bob McDonnell

, head of the

Republican Governors Association

, and Wisconsin Sen.

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Ron Johnson
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, according to an event invitation. Co-hosts include the nine House Republicans seeking re-election, Sen.

Mark Kirk

, and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who is chairman of the Romney effort in Illinois.

Tickets start at $1,000 for the general reception, hit $10,000 for a private dinner and top out at $75,800, the maximum that a donor can give. Money from the fundraiser is earmarked for the Romney campaign, the Republican National Committee and several state GOP committees.

This week, Obama kicks off a two-day, non-stop “America Forward” tour of the battleground states of Iowa, Colorado and Nevada. On Thursday, Obama returns to Chicago to become the first sitting president to cast an in-person early vote.

Democrats

have been aggressively trying to gain an advantage over Republicans in states that allow early voting. Illinois is viewed as a foregone conclusion in favor of Obama come Election Day.

Continuing fundraising efforts, Obama’s campaign launched a contest Tuesday offering a flight to Chicago for a donor and a guest to attend the president’s election night festivities at

McCormick Place

. The contest seeks donations of “$5 or whatever you can” and also offers accommodations in Chicago, a meeting with Obama and a front-row seat for his speech.

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