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Gingrich, Huntsman, Perry, Santorum won’t make Va. ballot

Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum will not be added to the Virginia presidential primary ballot after a federal judge rejected an appeal from the Perry campaign.

U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney, the presiding judge over a lawsuit filed by Rick Perry that challenged the state’s requirements for making it onto Virginia’s presidential ballot, ruled that candidates who did not collect the necessary 10,000 voter signatures will not be included on the ballot.

{mosads}In the opinion, Gibney writes that the lawsuit was filed too late.

“The plaintiffs have waited too long to file, and the doctrine of laches bars their claim,” the ruling reads. “The commonwealth is far along in the electoral process. The primary election is so close that the plaintiffs cannot gather the requisite signatures to get on the ballot. To place the plaintiff on the ballot would deprive Virginia of its rights not only to conduct the primary in an orderly way but also to insist that a candidate show broad support.”

The ruling affects Gingrich, Huntsman, Perry and Santorum and leaves Mitt Romney and Ron Paul alone on the ballot. 

In December, Perry filed a federal court challenge to Virginia’s ballot-access rules, claiming that the requirements were too strict and restricted his freedom of speech. 

“Virginia’s requirement for petition circulators to be either eligible or registered qualified voters in the state violates plaintiff’s freedoms of speech and association by the First and 14th amendments to the United States Constitution,” the Perry campaign claimed in its lawsuit.

Read the ruling below:

Virginia opinion on Perry ballot-access lawsuit

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