Gov. Rick Perry fails to qualify for Va. GOP presidential primary ballot

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul will be on Virginia's March 6 Republican presidential primary ballot, but Texas Gov. Rick Perry has failed to qualify.

The Republican Party of Virginia said Friday that Perry's campaign fell short of the 10,000 signatures of registered voters required for a candidate's name to be on the primary ballot.

The state party said Romney and Paul obtained the needed signatures. Party officials were still verifying the signatures of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich late Friday.

State GOP spokesman Garren Shipley says the party is validating petitions the candidates submitted by the Thursday 5 p.m. deadline to the State Board of Elections. The process of validating the signatures began Friday morning.

The 10,000 registered voters must also include 400 signatures from each of Virginia's 11 congressional districts.