WASHINGTON (AP) — Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has failed to qualify for Virginia's March 6 Republican primary, a development that adds to the challenges faced by the recent frontrunner in the GOP presidential race.
"After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10k signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary," the Republican Party of Virginia announced early Saturday on its Twitter website.
Perry also fell short of the 10,000 signatures of registered voters required for a candidate's name to be on the primary ballot, but former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul will be on the ballot.
State GOP spokesman Garren Shipley said volunteers spent Friday validating petitions that the four candidates submitted by the Thursday 5 p.m. deadline to the State Board of Elections. Shipley was not available early Saturday to discuss the announcement posted on the website.
Failing to get on the ballot will be a major setback for Gingrich, who has tried to use his recent upsurge in popularity to make up for a late organizing start. Ironically, Gingrich had a slight lead over Romney, with others farther back in a Quinnipiac poll of Virginia Republicans released earlier in the week.
The organizing work and a lack of advertising money to counter an onslaught of negative ads from his rivals have been major disadvantages.http://www.wfaa.com/news/politics/136167213.html