Monday 26 December 2011

US Republican Party contest

Ron Paul’s bid looks more likely to be successful although it is hard to see how the powers that be could let it happen.
 Gingrich and Perry fail to qualify for Virginia primary
Neither submitted enough signatures from registered voters to stand for the state's Republican primary on 6 March

Saturday 24 December 2011 16.30 GMT

The former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas governor, Rick Perry, have both failed to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, Republican party officials have said.

Neither politician, who were both frontrunners for the US presidential candidacy for the GOP, submitted enough signatures from registered voters to stand for the state's Republican primary on 6 March.

The Republican party of Virginia (RPV) announced the news early on Saturday on its Twitter account.

"After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10K signatures and has not qualified for the Va primary," it said. Perry's rejection was revealed late on Friday.

This comes despite Perry's presidential campaign telling state election officials that it had submitted 11,911 signatures, and Gingrich's campaign saying it submitted 11,050 signatures. Volunteers spent Friday night validating the scores.

The former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Texas Republican Ron Paul were successful.

But the results are a major setback to Gingrich and Perry – who is reportedly considering an appeal.

Failure to compete in Virginia, which is among the "super Tuesday" primaries, would deal a huge blow to any contender who had not already secured the nomination.

Gingrich had been leading the race in a poll of Virginia Republicans released earlier in the week. He said on Wednesday he had enough ballot signatures, but he wanted to come to Virginia to deliver them personally.

Jerry Kilgore, a former attorney general and chairman of Perry's campaign in Virginia, said he was disappointed.

"Hopefully, he will do better in other states,'' he said. "He can focus on other states."

Meanwhile, Virginia's Democrats said Barack Obama's re-election campaign gathered enough signatures to get him on the state's primary ballot.

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