Perry challenges Virginia ballot rules
December 27th, 2011
07:23 PM ET
11 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. Cfrench

    Typical republican, refuses to play by the rules, whether they be a state statue or the U.S. Constitution. Amend, repeal! Amend, repeal!

    Texans have a chance of repairing their reputation by kicking this guy out of office.

    December 28, 2011 07:50 am at 7:50 am |
  2. detada

    I would argue the Virginia process is designed to weed out the unqualified. On that basis, it's working.

    December 28, 2011 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
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