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New Lawsuit Filed Over Virginia Primary Access

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New Lawsuit Filed Over Virginia Primary Access

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A new lawsuit has been filed over access to the presidential primary ballot in Virginia, this time with a focus on Newt Gingrich's campaign, according to NBC News correspondent Pete Williams.

Unlike a lawsuit filed by lawyers for Rick Perry, this one does not challenge the constitutionality of the state's procedure for circulating petitions to get on the primary ballot. Instead, it claims that Gingrich supporters have actually met the test of the law, and it asks a judge to rule that signatures for his candidacy were counted inaccurately and order the state to put him on the ballot.

Both Perry and Gingrich failed to acquire the 10,000 votes needed to appear on the primary ballot.  The Virginia primary will be held March 6.

Perry's lawsuit was filed in federal court. This new case was brought in state court.

The Gingrich campaign confirmed to NBC News that this lawsuit was not filed by the campaign, and that it may have been filed by Virginia citizens, according to NBC's Alex Moe.

In the Perry case, the judge told Perry to invite other candidates to intervene. The Gingrich campaign said it is looking into that, according to Moe.

A Virginia judge on Thursday scheduled a hearing on Rick Perry's challenge for January 13 -- after the ballots will already have been printed up.

By law, ballots must be printed by January 9.

UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that Virginia attorney and tea party activist Jonathon Moseley, of Reston, says he filed the suit Thursday in the Circuit Court of Richmond County.

Moseley told the AP that he is acting independently of the Gingrich campaign but is encouraging the former House speaker to join his suit. Gingrich spokesman R.C. Hammond told the AP the campaign has not decided how to proceed in Virginia.

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