Free Lance-Star reporter Chelyen Davis covers Virginia government.
McDonnell sees no need to change Va ballot standards
Gov. Bob McDonnell says he doesn’t think Virginia’s process to get on a statewide primary ballot is as hard as the presidential candidates who failed to do it are making it sound.
“I did it twice, it can’t be that hard,” McDonnell told reporters today.”No creditable candidate for statewide office has ever had a problem making the ballot… If you want to be president of the United States, you ought to be able to get 10,000 signatures in Virginia.”
Virginia requires that statewide candidates submit petitions with the signatures of 10,000 eligible Virginia voters, 400 from each of the 11 congressional districts. Only two of the current Republican presidential candidates managed to make it — Mitt Romney and Ron Paul — and now Rick Perry (who only turned in 6,000 signatures ) and others are suing, saying that Virginia’s requirements are excessive and that the provision requiring a Virginia voter gather those signatures is unconstitutional.
Some Republicans have called for revising Virginia’s process, and while McDonnell said he’s open to looking at that, he doesn’t think it should be done now, during the primary season. And he doesn’t plan to be the one pushing for changes.
“Having seen 20 years of people making that with relative ease, I’m not advocating any change,” McDonnell said.
Speaking the day after the Iowa presidential caucus — very narrowly won by Romney — McDonnell said Republican voters are still “waiting for Superman” and seeking all things in one candidate.
“We’re waiting for that exactly right ideal candidate,” he said, and a candidate with every quality every voter wants doesn’t exist.
He said he’s confident Republicans will rally behind the eventual nominee.
“We will be 110 percent united, motivated and enthusiastic about winning,” McDonnell said. “There’s no question we’re going to have a very strong candidate …Parties go through a series of evaluations and reevaluations…We will be 110 percent united, motivated and enthusiastic about winning.”