Judge: Perry Likely to Prevail on Va. Ballot Issue

Provision only allowing Virginia residents to circulate petitions likely unconstitutional

By LARRY O'DELL
|  Tuesday, Jan 10, 2012  |  Updated 9:06 PM EDT
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Judge: Perry Likely to Prevail on Va. Ballot Issue

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Rick Perry

A judge says Texas Gov. Rick Perry and three other presidential candidates are likely to prevail on a key issue in their lawsuit seeking inclusion on Virginia's Republican primary ballot.

U.S. District Judge John Gibney said in court papers Tuesday that a provision that allows only Virginia residents to circulate petitions to get candidates on the ballot is probably unconstitutional. Gibney was explaining his order barring distribution of absentee ballots until after a Friday hearing.

Perry sued after failing to collect the 10,000 voter signatures required to qualify for the state's March 6 primary. Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum also failed to qualify and later joined Perry's lawsuit.

Only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas congressman Ron Paul qualified for the Virginia GOP primary.

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