Constitution Party candidate Virgil Goode will remain on the Virginia ballot, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli concluded Friday.
The state Republican Party challenged Goode's candidacy after the third-party candidate turned in about 20,000 signatures to the State Board of Elections to qualify for the ballot, twice the legal requirements. The GOP challenged the validity of the signatures, and earlier this month election officials asked Cuccinelli to investigate, even though they also placed Goode on the ballot.
Goode represented southern Virginia in the state Senate as a pro-life, pro-gun Democrat before serving in Congress as a Democrat, Republican and independent. His support within conservative circles threatens to undercut Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney in a crucial battleground state, fueling Republican attempts to keep Goode off the ballot. In recent polls, Goode has garnered between 2 percent and 9 percent of the electorate, mostly from Romney's base.
Cuccinelli concluded there were some irregularities with Goode's petitions but not enough to warrant removal from the ballot.
"We call them like we see them," said Cuccinelli.