(ARLINGTON, Va.) — Newt Gingrich said on Wednesday that his campaign has been “scrambling” to get his name on the ballot in Virginia and that he was prepared to “turn in vastly more signatures” than required by state law.
The filing deadline to get a candidate’s name on the Virginia ballot is Thursday at 5 p.m. A candidate must submit 10,000 signatures of registered Virginia voters, including at least 400 from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.
Gingrich campaign aides said they have met all the necessary requirements to get their candidate’s name on the ballot for the state’s March 6 primary.
“Once again, Virginia is going to disappoint the Republican establishment ’cause we’re going to turn in vastly more signatures than they need,” Gingrich said at a rally in Arlington, Va.
Gingrich told reporters earlier this week in Iowa that his campaign had been “scrambling” to get on the ballot and told reporters he “hoped” to make it.
“Some candidates have been running for five or six years; they’ve raised millions and millions and they’re better organized than I am,” Gingrich said. “We’ve got a lot of popular support. The challenge is, can we get that popular support organized fast enough?”
In an attempt to help the signature-gathering effort along, Gingrich made a last-minute change to his schedule to be on hand at a signature drive and rally in northern Virginia Wednesday night, and he plans to hold two other events in the state on Thursday.
The signatures must be delivered to the state board of elections by Thursday night’s deadline. From there they will be transferred in sealed boxes to the Virginia Republican Party, which is responsible for verifying their authenticity and tallying them. That process won’t begin until Friday morning.
The state board of elections recommends that candidates gather more than the required number of signatures. The Gingrich campaign did not have a count on the total so far.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Brian Stelter, CNN
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Jim Acosta and Daniella Diaz, CNN
David Wright, CNN