SPRINGFIELD — Ron Paul's Illinois organization Thursday filed a nearly complete slate of delegate and alternate delegate candidates for the March 20 primary election.
Paul is the second Republican candidate — behind Mitt Romney — to compile a slate of convention delegate candidates. The deadline to file delegate slates is 5 p.m. today .
In the 13th Congressional District, which includes Champaign, Urbana, Decatur and areas of central Illinois south to the St. Louis suburbs, the list of delegate candidates includes Martin Johnson of Champaign, David Cearlock of Witt, and Albert Capati of Springfield. The alternate delegates candidates are Kacey Nelson of Champaign, Roger Beanland of Decatur and Anthony Altig of Springfield.
Johnson, 62, a programmer in the University of Illinois' admissions department, said he thought the organization collected more than 1,000 signatures on behalf of Paul in the 13th District. Republican presidential candidates need to gather at least 600 signatures in each district to get delegate slates on the ballot.
"We had a lot of volunteers, and it was actually quite easy," said Johnson. "I just went door to door in my neighborhood and a few other places.
"Maybe I live in a Republican area, west of the (Champaign) country club, but it was easy. Of the non-Democrats I ran into, probably four out of five signed."
Johnson said he was "astonished by how easy it was to collect signatures this time compared with four years ago. Four years ago, it was, 'Who is he?' This time I got invited into the house by multiple people. It really slowed me down, but it was very interesting."
Johnson said that not only is Paul more familiar to voters, but that his anti-war and economic positions are being embraced by more people.
"I think the anti-war thing will eventually come around, but it's still a block for some people," he said. "But his concern with the Federal Reserve is having an impact. It's becoming quite obvious to many people that the Federal Reserve is a required link to carrying on these wars and policing the world. They can print the money.
"Even people who think that bombing other nations is a good thing are starting to understand that there's a big cost in the amount of money going into these wars. It's finally coming home to roost," he said.
Johnson said he was a congressional district organizer for Paul four years ago.
Paul delegates in other area congressional districts are:
— 15th District (which includes Danville, Rantoul, Paxton, Tuscola, Charleston, Mattoon and points south): for delegate, Allyson Saad of Georgetown, Jesse Green of Marshall, Ted Jotte of Marine and Michael Langley of Robinson; alternates are Stephen Bone of Bethany and Brian Latimer of Hindsoro.
— 16th District (which includes all of Iroquois County, most of Ford County and areas to the northwest): for delegate, Darrell Lake of David, Ryan Michie of DeKalb, and Diane Kennicker of Rockford; alternates are Heidi Emmett of Ottawa, Samuel Felker of Rockford and Andrius Gaiziunas of Rockford.
— 18th District (which includes most of McLean County, Peoria and areas to the west): for delegate, Reynaldo Agama of Peoria, Bradley Lyles of Morton, Ervie Marvin of Mechanicsburg and Robert Tessem of Peoria; alternates are Donald Henry of Peoria, Robert Lauder of Bloomington, Jonathon Scrivner of Chillicothe and Benjamin Stear of Metarmora.