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Perry, Santorum could be knocked off Illinois ballot

Republican presidential candidate Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks GOP forum Indianapolis Wednesday Oct. 12 2011.  (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Republican presidential candidate, Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks at GOP forum in Indianapolis, Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

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Updated: February 14, 2012 10:29AM



WASHINGTON — White House hopeful Rick Perry did not file correctly for the March 20 Illinois 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.

Ron 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, 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 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 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 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.”



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