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Romney, Santorum, Gingrich cranking up Illinois drive: Romney SuperPac $1 million play

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WASHINGTON--Mitt Romney's presidential campaign deployed a handful of staffers to Illinois in advance of the March 20 primary, will be sending former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and Rep. Aaron Schock out to crank up support, and will argue Rick Santorum is not ready for "prime time."

Newt Gingrich hits the Chicago suburbs on Wednesday headlining an afternoon rally at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.

Chicago Sun-Times political writer Abdon M. Pallasch reports that the Romney allied SuperPac, Restore Our Future, has bought about $1 million in tv ads in Illinois. Santorum, a 1976 graduate of Carmel High School in Mundelein, will hold a rally Friday night at Northridge College Prep in Niles. The Pallasch story is HERE.

Santorum plans a March 17 Southern Illinois swing around Collinsville, Alton, Mt. Vernons and Effingham.

lllinoisans who jump in the GOP primary cast a ballot in the presidential "beauty contest" and also vote for delegates to the Republican nominating convention in Tampa, Fl. Illinois has 54 delegates, apportioned to the 18 congressional districts in the state. Santorum's campaign only filed for 44 of the 54 slots, starting the Illinois primary with a delegate deficit.

Romney spokesman Ryan Williams told me Friday that the campaign will be making the point in Illinois that chief rival Rick Santorum could not get it together to file complete delegate slates in each district.

"If you can't put together a full slate of delegates in Illinois or Ohio, you clearly are not up to the task of taking on President Obama and his formidable political campaign. It shows that Rick Santorum is not ready for prime time," Williams said.

Romney will be in Peoria on March 19 and in Chicago and Wheaton on March 20.

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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 March 10, 2012 9:08 AM.

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