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UPDATE: Newt Gingrich won't be on the Virginia primary ballot this March, the Republican Party of Virginia announced Saturday. Neither will Rick Perry. Both candidates failed to submit enough signatures by the 5 PM Thursday deadline to the State Board of Elections.
The AP quotes the RPV's twitter feed announcement from early Saturday AM, which reads, "After verification, RPV has determined that Newt Gingrich did not submit required 10K signatures and has not qualified for the VA primary." The RPV spokesperson, Garren Shipley, wasn't available to comment further to the AP this morning.
It looks like Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are the only two GOP candidates who are certified to be on the ballot. No word yet on whether Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum or Jon Huntsman submitted petitions.
Gingrich's campaign has already responded, calling the Virginia primary process a "failed system," the AP reports.
The Washington Post notes that both Perry and Gingrich claim to have submitted more than the required signatures. Perry claimed to have 11,911 signatures, while Gingrich said he had 11,050.
Post Friday, Dec. 23, 2:19 PM: Virginia voters may not see Newt Gingrich's name on ballots this primary season.
The former House speaker spent the past few days scrambling to get the necessary signatures he needs to qualify for the commonwealth’s March 6 Republican primary, and while his team says it surpassed the 10,000 he needs to qualify, Politico reports that it’s far from a done deal. (One state Republican put Gingrich's odds at 50-50.)
For one thing, the Gingrich team – using paid contractors as opposed to solely relying on volunteers as most candidates with more time do – got only 11,050 signatures, which doesn’t leave much of a cushion as state officials begin to double check the names against their list of registered voters. Politico has more on Gingrich's Va. troubles here.