(CARROLL, Iowa) — The Newt Gingrich campaign says it was contacted by members of Rick Perry’s team Thursday about joining the lawsuit the Texas governor filed against the Republican party of Virginia in the state’s Eastern District Federal Court.
Both GOP candidates were shut out of the state’s Super Tuesday primary ballot after failing to meet the requirement of filing 10,000 verifiable signatures by the deadline.
The Gingrich campaign has until Jan. 6 to decide if they would like to join the lawsuit, and they are considering it, according to campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond.
“Clearly Virginia is a flawed system, anything that can be done to give the choice of the top Republican candidates would be beneficial to all Republican voters,” Hammond said.
Gingrich leads in the latest Virginia polls, but if the lawsuit does not proceed, the former Speaker of the House has no chance of making it onto the ballot, as write-in votes are not allowed in the state.
A legal adviser for the Gingrich camp told ABC News that the other campaigns left off the ballot would be able to join the lawsuit, because the nature of the suit is a violation of first amendment rights. The suit alleges that the state’s standards of gathering 10,000 voter signatures — 400 from each district — make it near impossible to land on the ballot.
The Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman campaigns did not submit signatures, while the Gingrich, Perry, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney campaigns submitted more than the amount required. The state’s Republican party announced Gingrich did not make the ballot on Dec. 24.
All campaigns have until Jan. 6 to decide if they will join the suit, which will be heard on Jan. 13.
Another unrelated lawsuit to get Gingrich on the ballot was announced Thursday by Virginia resident Jonathon Moseley, who reportedly filed the suit in Richmond County Circuit Court. The lawsuit is reportedly not connected to Gingrich or his campaign.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephen Collinson, Jeremy Diamond and Karl de Vries, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN