Gingrich, Perry fail to qualify for Virginia Republican presidential primary ballot

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Republican candidates for President of the United States Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry have failed to qualify to be on the ballot for the Virginia primary election, scheduled for March 6, Super Tuesday.

Newt Gingrich.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

Gingrich, former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives and Perry, Governor of Texas, did not submit the 10,000 signatures, with at least 400 from each of the state's eleven congressional districts, to the state's board of elections before the 5:00 PM deadline last Thursday required to gain ballot access, according to the Republican Party of Virginia.

Gingrich's and Perry's campaigns both claimed to have more signatures than needed, 11,050 and 11,911 respectively. Volunteers spent last night reviewing the submitted petitions and validating signatures. Reportedly Rick Perry is considering an appeal of the assessment.

Among other major candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, former Governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney and Texas congressman Ron Paul submitted the required petition and qualified for the ballot. On Thursday, it was disclosed that candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum also failed to gain ballot access.

According to the manager of the Gingrich campaign, Michael Krull, the former House Speaker plans to compete in the Virginia primary, despite not gaining ballot access, as a write-in candidate. Krull blamed a "failed system" for the campaign's inability to gain ballot access. Rick Perry's campaign manager said he was disappointed by that campaign's failure to qualify for the ballot. According to a recent poll of 489 Republican voters by Quinnipiac University, Gingrich leads in the state with 30% of support, followed by Mitt Romney at 25% and Ron Paul at 9%.

As Virginia's delegates to the Republican National Convention are not awarded on a winner-take-all basis, candidates other than the winner of the state's primary could also gain delegates from the state.