Vice President Mike Pence

A crowd gathers at TYR Tactical in Peoria in advance of a campaign event by Vice President Mike Pence Oct. 8—the same day Democratic challengers Joe Biden and Kamala Harris arrived in the Valley. 

With less than a month until the election, Vice President Mike Pence visited a Peoria military and tactical gear company last week for a “Make America Great Again” campaign event.

Pence began by calling his debate with Democrat Kamala Harris a “debate between two visions.”

“If you didn’t figure it out watching last night, I’ll tip you off, they want to pack the Supreme Court and defund the police,” he told a crowd of about 300 outside TYR Tactical.

In making the case for President Donald Trump’s reelection, Pence drew stark contrasts between the president and his Democratic challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden.

“So when you compare the Biden-Harris agenda with all that President Trump has done these last three and a half years, I think there’s no question about it,” he said. “President Donald Trump won that (Sept. 29) debate hands down.”

Pence did not wear a mask at the outdoor event but remained socially distanced. Masks were handed out, although not everyone wore them, and seats were set apart from one another, although not by the recommended 6 feet.

The appearance came on the same day Biden and Harris were in Phoenix, campaigning together for the first time. Repeated visits by both campaigns have firmly established Arizona’s evolving status as a battleground state.

Pence most recently visited the state Sept. 18, and several of Trump’s children have stumped here as well. The Trump campaign is aiming to repeat its 2016 performance in Arizona, which it won by almost 4 percentage points, but the polls consistently have Biden leading.

The vice president praised TYR Tactical for providing Arizona with jobs and supplying police departments with equipment.

“Under this president’s leadership … they’ve created more than 120 new Arizona jobs,” he said of TYR. “And every year, this company makes some 20,000 protective vests that are worn by law enforcement across America and American forces stationed all around the world.”

Pence also used the event to raise support for two Republican members of the House, David Schweikert and Debbi Lesko, saying that it was “time to retire Nancy Pelosi once and for all.” 

Lesko, running for reelection in the 8th Congressional District that includes parts of Glendale and Peoria, was present but did not speak.