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Contrary to Perry campaign, Rep. Cross NOT his Illinois chairman UPDATE

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WASHINGTON--White House hopeful Rick Perry's campaign told me Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) is the state chairman of his campaign; Cross told me that's not so.

That not only leaves Perry uncovered in a big delegate and fund-raising state; it means a major Illinois Republican decided to keep his distance as the Texas governor nosedives in the polls.

When I asked the Perry campaign last week who the Illinois chairman was, I got this reply from Catherine Frazier, the deputy press secretary.

"Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross is our State Chairman, let me know if you need anything else, thanks!"

When I called Cross on Friday, I got a different story.

Are you the Perry Illinois chairman?

"No," Cross said. "I don't know where you got that."

The campaign, I replied.

"I'm not in any official capacity or role in his campaign," Cross said.

Cross did attend a fund-raiser last month for Perry in the Chicago suburbs hosted by Jack Roeser.

Don't read that much into that, Cross said. "I'm not pledged to anybody."

How do you explain the Perry campaign believing you are the Illinois Perry chairman?

"You have to ask them," Cross replied.

I left two phone messages on Friday with the campaign. I will update with an explanation if I get one.

UPDATE FROM PERRY CAMPAIGN

Frazier's reply came Monday late afternoon:

"I completely misspoke,'' she told me. She said it was a "mistake" to tell me Cross was the Illinois Perry chairman.

She said she had no announcement about any Illinois Perry leaders to make at this time.

"We do have volunteers working in Illinois working to grow our grassroots network and volunteer base.
Illinois is an important state in the primary and we are looking to expand our operation there.

"...Illinois is a very important state and the governor is going to work to compete for votes there."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 14, 2011 8:35 AM.

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