Gingrich cites fraud in Virginia ballot failure

MASON CITY, Iowa Wed Dec 28, 2011 6:36pm EST

Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich attends a campaign stop at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club in Dubuque, Iowa December 27, 2011.  REUTERS/Jim Young

Republican presidential candidate and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich attends a campaign stop at the Dubuque Golf and Country Club in Dubuque, Iowa December 27, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Jim Young

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MASON CITY, Iowa (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said on Wednesday his failure to meet the requirements to take part in Virginia's presidential nominating contest resulted from fraud by a worker hired by his campaign.

Gingrich, who lives in Virginia, scrambled to submit the petitions necessary to get on the ballot on time, but the state party said on Saturday a review process showed he did not have the required 10,000 verifiable signatures.

Gingrich's campaign hired workers to gather those signatures, and the former speaker of the House of Representatives said at a campaign stop that one of those workers had committed fraud.

"We hired somebody who turned in false signatures. We turned in 11,100 - we needed 10,000 - 1,500 of them were by one guy who frankly committed fraud," Gingrich said, according to CNN.

Gingrich had been leading his Republican rivals in the state. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Texas Congressman Ron Paul were the only candidates from the field of top Republican candidates to qualify to be on Virginia's ballot.

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry also failed to qualify in Virginia because he lacked the 10,000 verifiable signatures.

On Tuesday he filed a federal lawsuit challenging Virginia's qualification process on constitutional grounds. Perry said it restricts the access of the state's voters to the candidates of their choosing.

(Reporting By Jeff Mason; Editing by Xavier Briand)

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Comments (7)
sailing wrote:
First he’ll do a write in campaign, then it’s Pearl Harbor, now it’s fraud?

Dec 28, 2011 6:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
AlkalineState wrote:
1,500 signatures from one jagoff at Focus on the Family. The GOP Acorn. I think Romney and Paul’s signatures should be checked too. That’s a slippery bunch of ‘community organizers.’

Dec 28, 2011 6:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ThinkFirst1 wrote:
Perry has just-cause because Virginia violated their own procedural rules by evaluating signatures with ONLY Paul and Romney reps in the room.

GOP leaders from at least 15 States have called upon Virginia to make a honest count with all candidate reps in the room – and to reconsider blocking voter-access to the candidates using such an absurd threshold.

What is the value-added? NH only requires 1,000 signatures OR $1,000.

That makes sense.

Dec 28, 2011 7:05pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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