SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio continues to show up in national and state polling as one of the top three Republican candidates vying for the White House in 2016.
Wednesday, his campaign in Illinois submitted a full delegate slate with a impressive list of Republican conservative office holders and activists, including former and current members of the U.S. Congress, the Illinois Senate and House, as well as GOP officials throughout the state.
The same day, Rubio released the following campaign ad in Iowa. In the first state to hold a 2016 primary contest, Rubio's clearly not ceding Iowa's all-important evangelical vote to U.S. Senator Ted Cruz or Donald Trump.
Rubio's ad called "Faith," says:
Our goal is eternity, the ability to live alongside our Creator and for all time, to accept the free gift of salvation offered to us by Jesus Christ. The struggle on a daily basis as a Christian is to remind ourselves of this. The purpose of our life is to cooperate with God’s plan, to those who much has been given much is expected and we will be asked to account for that. Were your treasures stored up on earth or in Heaven and to me I try to allow that to influence me in everything that I do.
New Congress member Darin LaHood - the highest ranking Illinois Republican elected officials officially behind Rubio – announced his support for Rubio in October.
“Senator Rubio’s uplifting plan to create good paying 21st Century jobs will ensure more people are able to achieve the American Dream. Marco is a transformational leader, with a bold vision for a New American Century. I am proud to be a part of his team, and I look forward to serving as Co-Chair of his Illinois presidential campaign,” LaHood said.
Former Congress members Tom Ewing, Tom Johnson and Bobby Schilling are running on the March 15th ballot as Rubio delegates.
Former candidate for lieutenant governor Jason Plummer is on the Rubio slate for the 15th CD.
Al Salvi, a former Republican State Representative and candidate for United States Senate and Illinois Secretary of State, is on the Rubio team, a statement from the campaign says, "as a champion of conservative ideology and a frontline warrior against government overreach, as demonstrated in his battle with notorious Internal Revenue Service bureaucrat Lois Lerner, who reportedly used IRS threats in an attempt to chase him from public service."
From the Illinois Senate Republicans, Rubio state co-chairman Mike Connelly is a Rubio delegate candidate, along with Jim Oberweis, Jason Barickman, Dale Righter and Dan Duffy.
Several Illinois House Republicans are among Rubio delegate candidates, including Mike Fortner, Tom Morrison, Terri Bryant, Keith Wheeler, Sheri Jesiel, Margo McDermed, Barbara Wheeler, CD Davidsmeyer and Michael Unes.
Connelly, Duffy, Morrison, and Barb Wheeler all hold 100% ratings with the national American Conservative Union.
Local officer holders such as Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran, Ogle County Board member Zachary Oltmanns, DuPage County GOP Chairman Darlene Ruscitti, DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan, Lake County Board member Nick Sauer and former Cook County Board Commissioner Herb Schumann are among Rubio's team.
Chicago 42nd Ward GOP Chairman Eloise Gerson is listed, as is Maine Township GOP Committeeman Char Foss-Eggemann.
Monee Mayor Jay Farquhar and Chicago community activist Corey Brooks are also among the Rubio delegates.