RICHMOND, Va. -- A federal appeals court rejected Rick Perry's last-ditch bid to be placed on Virginia's Republican presidential primary ballot Tuesday, agreeing with a lower court that the Texas governor and three other candidates waited too late to challenge the state's ballot qualifying law.
Perry sued last month after failing to submit enough signatures to get on the March 6 ballot. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman also failed to qualify and joined the lawsuit.
Virginia requires candidates to submit 10,000 voter signatures, including at least 400 from each of the state's 11 congressional districts, to demonstrate that they have enough support to be considered serious contenders. The law also allows only Virginia residents to circulate candidate petitions.
U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney said Friday that while the residency requirement for petition circulators is probably unconstitutional, the candidates waited too long to complain, threatening to disrupt Virginia's electoral process. Perry appealed, but a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with Gibney.