Virginia GOP Primary: Top Contenders Left Off Ballot
It was good news for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul, the State Board of Elections certified their ballot petitions. Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum did not hand in ballot petitions and as such will not be included on the ballot as well.
The candidates had a deadline of 5 p.m. on Thursday to deliver their petitions. Each petition needed the requisite 10,000 signatures from registered voters, with at least 400 signatures coming from each of the 11 congressional districts. Gingrich stated earlier in the week that his campaign had fulfilled the requirement, but in the interest of caution everyone attending a Wednesday campaign event in Arlington was required to sign the petition before entering, according to CBS News.
Virginia is considered one of the 12 “battleground” states in the upcoming presidential election and being kept off the primary ballot there will be a blow to the Gingrich campaign. A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday showed Gingrich leading Romney in Virginia with a 30 percent to 25 percent margin.
Perry’s campaign stated they collected 11,191 signatures and Gingrich’s campaign collected 11,050 signatures. The Republican Party of Virginia spent Friday validating the signatures. The RPV announced their findings via Twitter early Saturday morning.
“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary.”
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