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It’s Official: Only Mitt Romney And Ron Paul Will Be On Virginia Ballot

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Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney talks to an overflow crowd during a campaign rally in Grand Junction, Colorado (Photo Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / Getty Images)

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney talks to an overflow crowd during a campaign rally in Grand Junction, Colorado (Photo Credit: EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP / Getty Images)

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — 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.

Last month, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. said the court would have likely granted preliminary relief to the candidates had they filed their lawsuit in a timely manner.

Only former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul (Tex.) will appear on the ballot.

(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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