The Perry campaign is reviewing its options, after what could be a major mistake-- failing to qualify for the GOP primary in Virginia.
Shortly after discovering the news, Perry spokesman Ray Sullivan issued a statement saying, "Despite aggressive efforts collecting thousands of Virginia signatures after Governor Perry's mid-August entry into the race, we were notified this evening of apparently falling short of the 10,000 voter signatures needed to qualify."
Virginia has some of the toughest primary ballot rules. The state requires, 10 thousand signatures from registered voters, 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts.
Rick Perry isn't alone. The Virginia Republican Party says Michele Bachmann, Jon Huntsman, and Rick Santorum also failed to make the primary ballot in Virginia. Perry was one of the four GOP hopefuls that turned the required paperwork with the Virginia Board of Elections. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Perry's fellow Texan, Ron Paul have been certified eligible. Party officials were still verifying the signatures submitted by Newt Gingrich late Friday night.
When asked if the campaign plans to file an appeal, Sullivan told Fox News the campaign is looking into why they didn't make the ballot. "We will closely review the facts and law to determine whether an appeal or challenge is warranted," says Sullivan.Texas Gov Rick Perry has made quite a few missteps on the campaign trail. And while the campaign doesn't want to make too much of this mistake, it will no doubt raise questions about how organized the Perry team is itself.
"This is an isolated situation and does not impact Governor Perry qualifying for the ballot in every other state," insists Sullivan.
Even so, Virginia's primary falls on March 6th, what could be a very important first Super Tuesday. Virginia and Ohio will be important swing states if the Republican nomination process continues past South Carolina, Florida and Nevada.
Unfortunately for the Texas Governor, the Lone Star State has moved its primary back to April 3rd. It was originally slated with the 10 states holding primaries or caucuses on March 6. That puts Texas toward the end of the election calendar, and will likely rule out any home state bump.
Jerry Kilgore is the chair of Perry's Virginia campaign. He is a former former Virginia Attorney General.
Sullivan says, "Gov Perry has the utmost respect for the strong place Virginia holds in our nation's economic and military strength and in American history He will continue to work hard to build strong support in Virginia and earn the trust of conservative-minded voters there."
Perry's campaign bus tour picks back up in Iowa after the Christmas holiday weekend.
UPDATE 12/24 @ 7:00AM ET:
The Republican Party of Virginia has announced that Newt Gingrich also will not be on the ballot for Virginia's Republican presidential primary.