Perry challenges Virginia ballot rules
December 27th, 2011
07:23 PM ET
3 years ago

Perry challenges Virginia ballot rules

(CNN) - Rick Perry, whose campaign suffered a blow when the Republican Party of Virginia rejected its petition to appear on the state's primary ballot, challenged the "constitutional validity" of the ballot rules Tuesday.

Perry's campaign filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District, saying the statutes in Virginia law regulating access to the primary ballot were "among the most onerous in the nation and severely restrict who may obtain petition signatures."

Perry was one of four candidates to submit petitions to the Virginia elections board in the hopes of appearing on the state's GOP primary ballot. Candidates are required to obtain 10,000 signatures from registered voters, and must ensure that 400 signatures come from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts.

After combing through Perry's petitions, the Republican Party of Virginia determined that they didn't meet the requirements. The board also rejected former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's petitions.

Perry's campaign said the restrictive access to the ballot would wind up hurting Virginia voters.

"Gov. Perry greatly respects the citizens and history of the Commonwealth of Virginia and believes Virginia Republicans should have greater access to vote for one of the several candidates for President of the United States," Perry campaign communications director Ray Sullivan said in a statement.

Gingrich's campaign said they were also looking into legal recourse following the Virginia decision. Initially, Gingrich's organization announced they were pursuing a write-in campaign, but further analysis of Virginia state law determined that write-ins were prohibited in primary elections.

Speaking Tuesday to CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Gingrich said the rules were complicated, but that the failure to get on the Virginia ballot was ultimately a blunder.

"This was a mistake. And we feel badly about it. I think it will be the only state that we're not on the ballot," Gingrich said.


Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Rick Perry • Virginia
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Greg

    Why cant this guy understand that nobody likes him. THAT'S why he couldn't get on the ballot.

    December 27, 2011 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  2. sara

    He's now running to the U.S. court system. Doesn't he rail against gov'ment! hehe

    December 27, 2011 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  3. Independent in NH

    There is nothing unconstitutional about it. The decision to use the primary ballot for presidential elections was passed in 1988. There hasn't been a problem since...at least until these two clowns Gingrich and Perry came along and fumbled the ball.

    December 27, 2011 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  4. SEO

    I can hearing the whining from here, "Does the law really apply to me, Mr. Judge. How could it, I am a Govnor"

    December 27, 2011 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  5. Penquista

    Perry needs to stop whining and respect the state's rights. It would be unamerican for activist judges to legislate from the bench on an issue like this.

    December 27, 2011 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  6. Joepeg

    Interesting how the GOP screams state's rights - until ot is not convenient for them and then they want the federal government involved. If a judge's ruling is one we don't lile, can we haul the judge before Comgress to explain the rulong?

    December 27, 2011 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  7. Kirk Jonas

    Cry babies!

    Should have thought about organizing in Va sooner. It's been that way since the 1950's!

    December 27, 2011 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  8. Republicans are just a bunch of liers

    You both need to be off all ballots across the nation!!!!

    December 27, 2011 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  9. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Wait what?!? Rick Perry the champion of states rights is challenging Virgina's states right!! How can this be? So he's all for states rights except when they apply to him? Lets see, what words come to mind, Hypocrite, Liar or just Idiot because his organization doesn't seem to know how to read the requirements.

    December 27, 2011 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  10. Nick Irvine

    How much is this lawsuit going to cost VA Taxpayers? I think this mishap, which has only happened to two campaigns, speaks more about the campaign than the VA law. If you can't follow the law in a primary, how can you read a country? Be more accountable!!

    December 27, 2011 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  11. 21k

    geez, does it really matter that he's not on the ballot there? does he really think he has a chance? daytime tv host, that's what you should do. the afternoon time slots would be a goldmine for a "good lookin' devil" (bill clinton) like you. you could take over from regis. the ladies would love you.

    December 27, 2011 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  12. GOP = Greed Over People

    So, now Mr. "states rights" Perry wants to sue a state because it's primary rules are "unconstitutional"???

    "Hypocrite, remove the beam from thine own eye..."

    December 27, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    And because YOU didn't follow the law like others did, the law must be bad. Typical....

    December 27, 2011 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. Ryan

    Republicans hate lawyers until they need them. Surprise! Is anyone surprised by the hypocrisy anymore?

    They should change their slogan:

    Republicans: We can't understand people's opinion on something until it happens to us.

    December 27, 2011 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. chuck weidemann

    How's it feel to be on the short end. Discrimination sucks!!!

    December 27, 2011 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Thomas

    It must be nice to have the people of Texas pay your legal teams expenses .

    Legality and irresponsibility , early bird gets the worm , you snooze you loose !
    Rick Perry , a Fist Full of Dollars or the Good , the Bad and the Corndog " Iowa " ?

    December 27, 2011 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. Texrat the Crypticum Keeper

    And yet– other candidates get on the ballot.

    I also find this ironic, given Republican mockery of similar Democrat complaints.

    December 27, 2011 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  18. Emmy Skaddittle

    of course the rules don't apply to this idiot

    December 27, 2011 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. A former republican

    Perry is such a loser it won't make any difference whether or not he is on the ballot in Virginia. He needs to pick up his marbles and go home. He can take the Newt with him.

    December 27, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. annettej

    What a bunch of crybaby whiners Perry and Gingrich are.

    What happened to personal responsibility fellas? Romney
    and Paul got their signatures in. Why do these incompetents think they
    should be afforded special privileges? Typical.

    December 27, 2011 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  21. Owen

    Is this another Oops? First Perry can't remember what agency he would cut if he was President. Now you want to sue the State of Virginia because you didn't comply with their laws. Is your next oops going to be a Nixon presidency where you make your own rules regardless what the law says? If you can't remember or don't know what you are doing, President of the US is not the game you should be playing.

    December 27, 2011 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  22. GI Joe

    It ain't Texas Ricky-Poo.

    December 27, 2011 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. Lee

    There's irony for you. Governor Ricky was complicit in voter suppression legislation here in Texas and now he says it's not right to make it difficult to participate in elections.

    Et tu, Ricky?

    December 27, 2011 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  24. Dennis F

    I guess the only time that 'State's Rights' menas anything to Perry is when he is not on the short end of them!

    December 27, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. scottdc

    So he's pro State's rights unless he doesn't agree with what a State has done?

    December 27, 2011 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
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