Mitt Romney’s vaunted organization nearly failed him in Illinois, where he only remained eligible for delegates on the ballot after a negotiated truce between his campaign and Rick Santorum’s people. The problems stem from the campaign relying on Illinois state Treasurer Dan Rutherford. He struggled to acquire enough signatures to qualify for Romney’s delegates and then had the statement of candidacy notarized out of state, which the Santorum campaign challenged despite having its own statement of candidacy notarized in Iowa. Had Santorum’s campaign been successful with its challenge to Romney, the error could have led to disqualifying Romney from winning any of the state’s delegates.
The petition standoff took place in early January, well before Santorum had risen to be Romney’s chief rival for the GOP nomination. It began when Romney’s campaign challenged the Santorum petitions in 10 of the 14 congressional districts in which the former Pennsylvania senator submitted delegate slates. Santorum did not qualify at all in four of 18 Illinois congressional districts.
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