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WASHINGTON (AP) — Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign raised more than $9 million in February and has more than $2.6 million on hand for a Republican primary that shows no sign of ending soon.

The former senator from Pennsylvania is bracing for a long contest with rival Mitt Romney, who outpaces him in organization and delegates. Santorum, however, has enough cash to continue his campaign and hopes to deny Romney the nomination.

Santorum is running a shoestring campaign and spending far less on advertising and staff than Romney. He only recently opened a campaign headquarters and has refused to hire a pollster or speechwriter. His ragtag campaign, however, has denied Romney the early nomination so far and Santorum says he will continue his campaign until the GOP convention in August.

As Illinois Republicans vote in the state’s presidential primary on Tuesday, Santorum is reconnecting with a son of Illinois remembered for one afternoon he spent in Pennsylvania.

Santorum planned to watch the Illinois primary results at a campaign party in Gettysburg, Pa., the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Civil War address.

Santorum had campaigned in Illinois and looks to continue his trend of doing well in rural, conservative areas while largely ceding urban areas to Romney.

Santorum aides cast his decision to return to Pennsylvania as a nod to Illinois’ famous son. It’s also a political move. Santorum represented Pennsylvania in the House and the Senate, and his aides have said he must do well there to continue a campaign that lags behind Romney in terms of money, organization and delegates.

Heading into Tuesday, The Associated Press delegate count showed Romney had amassed 522 delegates. Santorum had 252, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 136 and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas had 50.

Romney is on pace to collect the 1,144 delegates needed to win the nomination in June unless Santorum or Gingrich is able to start posting decisive wins. Neither Santorum nor Gingrich has signaled he will exit the race. That could mean they will continue to split the vote of conservatives voters who have never warmed to Romney.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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