Romney takes Illinois presidential primary

Romney takes Illinois presidential primary

By Joe Palmer

Romney’s campaign rolled through Illinois and took home the prize.

The Illinois presidential primary took place Tuesday with Mitt Romney extending his delegate lead in a victory over challenger Rick Santorum.

The two took home the majority of Illinois’ 54 delegates, while Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich both took home single digit percentages of the overall vote, according to the Associated Press.

The primary marks a major defeat for Newt Gingrich, who campaigned hard in Illinois for the past few weeks.

Mitt Romney gave his acceptance speech in the northwest surburb of Schaumburg.

“I thank the people of Illinois for their vote, and for this extraordinary victory,” Romney said in his address. “We deserve a president who believes in us, and I believe in the American people.”

Gingrich, who placed fourth in the primary, also gave a follow-up speech.

“This primary should be the question of who can beat Barack Obama,” Gingrich said. “Most republicans will agree that when it comes to who can stand up and debate Obama, I can do it best.”

Ill. State Representative Bob Pritchard said that his biggest concern for the presidency is finding a candidate who can energize voters.

“We need a candidate who can meet and engage independents and get voters engaged,” Pritchard said.

Pritchard also said the primary process is important, and hopes for greater turnout in future elections.

“The thing about primaries, not just on the national level, is making sure to have higher voter turnout. I hope to see a whole lot more of a turnout this fall.”

State Senator Christine Johnson said Illinois was more important in this year’s presidential primary than in past years.

“It’s great to have Illinois in play again for the Republican primary,” Johnson said. “It’s fun to have the candidates actually pay attention to our state.”