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Perry Sues for Virginia Ballot Access

Gov. Rick Perry campaigning in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Dec. 14, 2011.
Photo by Ben Philpott/KUT News
Gov. Rick Perry campaigning in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Dec. 14, 2011.

Rick Perry's campaign has filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutional validity of Virginia's ballot access rules. The Texas governor was notified last Friday that he had failed to submit the requisite number of valid signatures from registered voters in the Commonwealth and would not appear on the March 6 primary ballot.

"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 an email to reporters.

To view the campaign's court filing, click here.


This "oops" has real consequences.

Rick Perry's campaign failed to gather 10,000 valid signatures from registered voters in Virginia — and as a result, the Texas governor will not appear on the Commonwealth's March 6 Republican presidential primary ballot.

"After verification, RPV has determined that Rick Perry did not submit the required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary," a GOP official said in a Tweet posted late Friday.

The Perry campaign had submitted a ballot petition with nearly 12,000 signatures to state election officials before the 5 p.m. deadline today.

“Hopefully, he will do better in other states,” former Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, the chairman of Perry's campaign in the Commonwealth, toldThe Washington Post.

Three other second-tier Republican candidates for president — U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman — submitted no petitions and, like Perry, won't be on the Virginia ballot.

Evan Smith is the CEO and editor-in-chief of The Texas Tribune, which, in its first year in operation, won two national Edward R. Murrow Awards from the Radio Television Digital News Association and a General Excellence Award from the Online News Association. Previously he spent nearly 18 years at Texas Monthly, stepping down in August 2009 as the magazine's president and editor-in-chief. He previously served as editor for more than eight years — only the third person to hold that title. On his watch, Texas Monthly was nominated for 16 National Magazine Awards, the magazine industry's equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, and twice was awarded the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. For eight years, Smith hosted a Lone Star Emmy Award-winning weekly interview program, Texas Monthly Talks, that aired on PBS stations statewide. He currently hosts a new show, Overheard with Evan Smith, that airs on PBS stations nationally. A New York native, Smith has a bachelor's degree in public policy from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and a master's degree in journalism from the Medill School at Northwestern University.
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