By Anita Kumar, The Washington Post
RICHMOND â€” A federal judge denied a request Friday by four presidential candidates to add their names to Virginiaâ€™s Republican primary ballot.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former senator Rick Santorum (Pa.), former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) and former Utah governor Jon Huntsman Jr. failed to qualify for the ballot and sued the State Board of Elections and the state GOP.
U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. said the candidates should have challenged the qualification rules months ago when they realized that Virginia forbids out-of-state residents to collect signatures.
â€œHad the plaintiffs filed a timely suit, the court would likely have granted preliminary relief,â€ Gibney wrote in his ruling. â€œIn essence, they played the game, lost, and then complained that the rules were unfair.â€™â€™
Gibney said he thought a provision requiring the candidates to use only state residents was unconstitutional, but none of the candidates had managed to collect the required 10,000 signatures. Only former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) qualified for the Virginia ballot.
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