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Va. ballot suit dies after last plaintiff dismissed

Tuesday - 2/7/2012, 6:43am  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - The lawsuit by four Republican presidential candidates challenging Virginia's ballot access law is now dead.

A federal judge in Richmond granted Newt Gingrich's request to drop him from the case Monday. Gingrich was the last remaining plaintiff after the judge previously granted requests to drop Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Ron Santorum and Jon Huntsman from the case.

Perry filed the lawsuit in December after failing to submit enough valid signatures to qualify for Virginia's GOP primary. The other three candidates also failed to qualify and joined the lawsuit. They claimed that Virginia's 10,000-signature requirement is burdensome, and that a provision allowing only Virginia residents to circulate petitions is unconstitutional.

A judge refused to order the candidates' names added to the ballot, and a federal appeals court upheld that decision.

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