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. Slightly Left of Center

    Oh, cry me a river!!

    "...severely restrict who may obtain petition signatures." No. No, it does not. It requires that you obtain 10,000 signatures and you didn't meet those requirements. Other candidates did it. The only one who restricted Rick Perry was.....Rick Perry.

    December 27, 2011 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  2. Robert

    No Newt, you also won't be on the ballot in Missouri either since you FAILED to turn in any of the paperwork before the deadline. Oh well, what a shame .

    December 27, 2011 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  3. George Edward

    Why waste his time? He will be out of the race by the time they get to VA.

    December 27, 2011 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  4. Terry

    Face it, your campaign staff could not find ten thousand registered voters who were willing to have their name associated with your campaign. This is much too funny.

    December 27, 2011 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  5. donna

    challenged the "constitutional validity" of the ballot rules Tuesday

    Talk about Irony. All that disrespectful talk in the debate about how they were going to sort the judges out, now they appear hat in hand begging for a judgement.

    December 27, 2011 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. rep

    "Rick Perry doesn't have [an Achilles' heel]. Rick Perry has an Achilles' head"
    – John Oliver, The Daily Show

    December 27, 2011 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. Will

    Stick a fork in him. He's done.

    December 27, 2011 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. Burger

    "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. – Wrong, you forgot about Missouri and Ohio.

    December 27, 2011 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  9. GrogInOhio

    HAH!... look who dislikes voter suppression all of a sudden!

    December 27, 2011 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  10. Bob

    Not smart enough to follow simple rules to qualify for the ballot = not smart enough to be president.

    December 27, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  11. Frudd

    Wow, I predicted right here on CNN that he Perry would drag the courts into this. What a whining loser, a perfect representation of both his religion and his party.

    December 27, 2011 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  12. Jim

    Perry is a firm believer in states' rights – unless he doesnt think they're right.

    December 27, 2011 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  13. steve harnack

    This matter was decided by the Virginia State Legislature so apparently these Republicans are opposed to judges legislating from bench except for when THEY are asking judges to legislate from the bench

    December 27, 2011 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  14. Rick

    You mean a state's rights anti-federal government GOP type doesn't like a particular state's rule? And to correct that, he runs to ask an activist judge from the federal government to change the state's law? Can you say hypocritical? I knew you could.

    December 27, 2011 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  15. T'sah from Virginia

    ►Perry challenges Virginia ballot rules
    ginGRINCH also and they both are fools
    NOT getting 10,000 is what really put them under
    Therefore, “…failure to get on the Virginia ballot was ultimately [their] blunder.”

    In reality, there are too many “candidates” and to get over 10,000 signatures for each one from the RIGHT/far-RIGHT is not even feasible in VA. And the GRINCH lives here………..LMAO.

    Obama 2012

    December 27, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  16. hoop

    An effective demonstration of this candidate's poor management and organizational skills.

    December 27, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  17. Idaho_Jim

    All the candidates should just pull out of the so-called primary. If VA doesn't allow all the candidates, then none of them should enter. What the heck kind of primary doesn't allow the national candidates because of some outdated rules. Change the rules.

    December 27, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  18. T'sah from Virginia

    oops, posted the last post on the wrong story... oh well!!!

    December 27, 2011 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  19. m

    The only think that would hurt Virginian voters would be to have these two baboons on the ballot.

    December 27, 2011 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  20. enuff

    If you're gonna play the game, you'd better know the rules. You can't just make it up as you go along. Especially if you think you can handle the office of the presidency. Other countrys will use it to their advantage and eat you alive if you go into the job with that attitude. And that is how wars begin. At least Gingrich admitted to a blinder.

    December 27, 2011 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  21. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    His campaign along with Gingrich don't well enough to get the job done. That shows to me that they may not have the organization to get the job done for the regular election. This could be seen that they might not be able to really do a good job as president because they don't know all the rules and can't figure out what needs to be done.

    December 27, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  22. enuff

    If you are gonna play the game, you had better know rules.

    December 27, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  23. Ricardo

    That's a shame for Newwt

    December 27, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  24. lone star dem

    What's this? Gov. OOPS Trying to legislate through the courts? Looking for an "activist" judge, rick? This guy made non existant voter fraud his highest priority in pushing a voter supression bill in the TEX. Legislature this year. A law that is currentyly being stopped from taking effect by the justice dept., thank god. Now he wants to change virginia voter law because the law as written is inconvenient to him. Hey guv, too damn bad. How does voter supression grab ya now? Poetic justice!

    December 27, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  25. Frank!

    Wow, these guy REALLY need Katherine Harris on their team! NO ONE can "fix" election "mishaps" for her boss like she can. W Jr (AKA Rick Perry) should have had her number on speed dial (that is, if he actually knows how to use a phone).

    December 27, 2011 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
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