Perry Challenges Exclusion From Va. Primary - NBC4 Washington

Perry Challenges Exclusion From Va. Primary

Romney, Paul only official candidates in March 6 contest



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    Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry is challenging his exclusion from Virginia's primary ballot.

    The Texas governor's campaign filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court in Virginia in an attempt to get his name on Virginia's March 6 primary ballot. Perry failed to collect the required 10,000 signatures by the deadline of 5 p.m. December 23.

    At present, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul are the only GOP presidential candidates who have qualified for Virginia's ballot. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Banchmann, Sen. Rick Santorum, and former Gov. Jon Huntsman also failed to gather enough signatures.

    In explaining the lawsuit, Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan says Virginians should be able to choose among all the candidates -- not just two. Sullivan says Virginia's ballot access rules are among the most onerous in the country and that the 10,000-signature requirement is unrealistic.