MASON CITY, Iowa, Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. 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 U.S. 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
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. [ID:nL1E7NS0PY ]
(Reporting By Jeff Mason; Editing by Xavier Briand)
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