BY WESLEY P. HESTER
Thursday’s filing deadline to qualify for Virginia’s U.S. Senate race added some drama to what could be a four-way race for the Republican nomination.
With former Gov. George Allen, Chesterfield County tea party activist Jamie Radtke, and state Del. Robert G. Marshall, R-Prince William, all but guaranteed spots on the June 12 ballot having submitted more than 15,000 signatures each, Thursday saw two last-minute efforts with different results.
After a frantic day of gathering last-minute signatures, Chesapeake minister E.W. Jackson burst into the State Board of Elections’ doors just shy of the 5 p.m. deadline to submit 11,188 signatures.
Also running in the door just before deadline with more than the 10,000 minimum was Hampton Roads attorney David McCormick.
But his quest to make the ballot came to an end when he was informed that he lacked the proper paperwork. Chris Piper, manager of election services with the State Board of Elections, said McCormick forgot his petition of candidacy.
State law requires a minimum of 10,000 valid signatures with a minimum of 400 from each of the state’s 11 congressional districts.
If a candidate submits fewer than 15,000 signatures, however, the Republican Party of Virginia checks each one against the state voter database, eliminating those from non-registered voters, leaving Jackson’s fate in limbo.
The Republican Party of Virginia begins the process of counting signatures and validating the four candidates’ petitions today at 9 a.m.
The Board of Elections recommends filing a minimum of 12,000 signatures.
Jackson also nearly fell short, with his campaign scrambling late in the day after some petitions were delivered to the wrong location. That caused Jackson to miss a scheduled media event at the state Capitol’s Bell Tower, where three reporters and two supporters were waiting.
Virginia Beach residents Kris and Sarah Allen stopped by for Jackson’s speech on their way home from Washington.
Kris Allen called Jackson a man of “strong character” with “a compelling life story,” adding that he wasn’t too disappointed to be stood up.
“It’s a grassroots campaign,” he said, recalling the Lee Iacocca quote: “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”
Former Gov. Timothy M. Kaine will receive his party’s nomination after no other Democrats qualified for ballot.