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Santorum, Perry problems with Illinois petitions

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Updated with Paul campaign comment...

WASHINGTON--GOP White House hopeful Rick Perry did not file correctly for the March 20 Illinois presidential primary "beauty contest," and some of rival Rick Santorum's delegate slates are short of signatures, leaving them open to challenges that could knock them off the ballot.

Illinois law requires candidates to file using their home addresses. Perry, the Texas governor whose candidacy may not survive through Illinois, used a post office box in Austin, Texas for an address.

Paul's Illinois petitions used the address of his Virginia campaign headquarters. His campaign said his statement of candidacy used his home address

Newt Gingrich, Paul, Perry, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer all filed the required 3,000 signatures for the beauty contest. Jon Huntsman skipped Illlinois.

Challenges to nominating petitions are due by Friday.

Nominations are won through the election of delegates, and in Illinois and the winner of the "beauty contest" gets only a symbolic boost if GOP primary voters do not pick their pledged delegates to support them at the nominating convention in Tampa later this year. Delegates are elected by congressional districts.

Rick Santorum did not file delegate slates in four out of the 18 Illinois congressional districts from which delegates are elected. Santorum's delegate slates in 10 districts were filed with far fewer than the 600 signatures needed for the ballot. Perry's campaign filed in only one district.

Jon Zahm, the Santorum campaign Illinois political director, said four years ago there was an "unwritten agreement" between the Republican presidential campaigns not to challenge petitions. He has heard "rumblings of challenges," though none yet have materialized as of Thursday.

Zahm said if challenges surface, "we may be forced to challenge other petitions" because "we believe every candidate had vulnerable districts and vulnerable petitions."

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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 January 12, 2012 3:21 PM.

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