Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign has gotten its court date in Virginia. U.S. District Judge John Gibney Jr. has set a hearing on the validity of Virginia's primary ballot for Jan 13th.
Before that hearing, the judge is requiring that the Perry campaign reach out to the other Republican candidates, to see if they would be interested in joining either side of the suit. Perry
Communications director Ray Sullivan says the campaign will "respect and abide by that order."
In fact, Sullivan says Perry would "welcome other candidate involvement."Virginia has some of the country's toughest ballot requirements. Only two GOP candidates qualified in Virginia, Mitt Romney and Ron Paul.
Virginia's legislature meets on Jan. 11. Newt Gingrich wants state legislators to change the law in time for him to start a write-in campaign for the March 6 presidential primary. Sullivan says the Perry campaign is also leaving that option, and any other option that "gets greater access to the ballot," open.
Perry is challenging the constitutionality of Virginia's ballot's laws, specifically the requirement that ballot petitioners be eligible or registered voters in Virginia.
Judge Gibney didn't let the Perry lawyers off easy. He rejected the request for an immediate executive court order to require Virginia to place his name on the primary ballot.
Gibney also questioned why this case was in a federal, rather than a state court, and he voiced skepticism about whether Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has a conflict of interest in this case. Cuccinelli recently gave a statement in which he said he was hopeful the General Assembly would remedy the situation in its upcoming session.
Perry's campaign still isn't certain why the 10 thousand plus signatures they turned in were not valid. They are "in the process of looking into that now."