Rick Perry Latest Candidate Disqualified From Virginia Ballot

Picking up on the theme that I wrote about this morning, and James Joyner expanded upon, it was announced this evening that Rick Perry is the fourth Republican candidate for President to fail to qualify for the March 6th Virginia primary:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry failed to submit enough valid signatures to qualify for the Virginia primary ballot, state GOP officials said Friday evening.

Perry’s campaign told state election officials it had submitted 11,911 signatures, but a Virginia Republican familiar with the situation said that the Texas governor did not submit the required 10,000.

Earlier Friday, the Republican Party of Virginia certified former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) to appear in the March ballot.

Four candidates — Romney, Perry, Paul and former House speaker Newt Gingrich — turned in thousands of signatures by the deadline. State party officials are spending the day certifying the signataries.

They have not examined Gingrich’s signatures yet, but expected to do so by late Friday night.

Candidates had until 5 p.m. to collect 10,000 signatures from across the state, including 400 from each congressional district.

Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum did not submit signatures, according to state GOP officials.

Quite honestly, I would hope that this leads to ballot access reform here in Virginia, but I’m not optimistic. Nonetheless, this does not bode well for the future of the Rick Perry campaign.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Just nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    I’m not sure that I see what you think is broken. Is 10,000 with minimum representation quotas from each district too high? Or is the complaint asking candidates to get signatures at all the problem?

  2. Virginia’s ballot access rules are more stringent than most other states in the Union.

  3. @Doug Mataconis: I don’t see it as a need for reform, I see it as an indication candidates that have absolutely no support and organization are still considered, for some reason, legitimate candidates by the media.

    In 2008, six Democrats and six Republicans qualified for the ballot in Virginia. Those candidates were:
    Barack Obama
    Bill Richardson
    Dennis J. Kucinich
    Hillary Clinton
    Joe Biden
    John Edwards

    Fred D. Thompson
    John McCain
    Mike Huckabee
    Mitt Romney
    Ron Paul
    Rudy Giuliani

  4. muffler says:

    If this has been the rule for many years… and candidates know it is the rule… and other candidates seem to have had no issues getting the required signatures….than any candidate that cannot follow the rules shouldn’t be running for president. Incompetence doesn’t mean the rules need to be reformed… maybe the candidates and their teams do honestly suck.

  5. James in LA says:

    Oh dear….both Perry and the Grinch had 90 days to grab 10,000 sigs. Meanwhile, in WI, they obtained over 300,000 in a month. I do not think any GOP candidate will be renting any stadiums as venues…