In a major blow to their presidential campaigns, both Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich will not be on the ballot for Virginia’s March 6 primary.
Both candidates failed to meet the state’s requirement of 10,000 signatures, according to the state party, and thus do not qualify.
“After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary,” the state GOP said via Twitter on Saturday. Perry’s rejection was announced late Friday.
Perry’s campaign is considering an appeal, however.
“Despite aggressive efforts collecting thousands of Virginia signatures after Governor Perry’s mid-August entry into the race, we were notified this evening of apparently falling short of the 10,000 voter signatures needed to qualify,” a Perry spokesman told Politico. “We will closely review the facts and law to determine whether an appeal or challenge is warranted. This is an isolated situation and does not impact Governor Perry qualifying for the ballot in every other state.”
Gingrich in particular suffers by the move since a Quinnipiac poll released just this week have shown him leading the “Super Tuesday” state, besting his chief rival Mitt Romney. Romney and Ron Paul will both be on the ballot.
The Gingrich campaign is blaming Virginia’s ballot requirements.
“Only a failed system excludes four out of the six major candidates seeking access to the ballot,” Campaign Director Michael Krull said in a statement. “Voters deserve the right to vote for any top contender, especially leading candidates. We will work with the Republican Party of Virginia to pursue an aggressive write-in campaign to make sure that all the voters of Virginia are able to vote for the candidate of their choice.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.