2012 ELECTION

Virgil Goode can stay on the ballot, attorney general says

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says conservative former U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode can stay on the state's presidential ballot from the Constitution Party.

The State Board of Elections asked for the review after the state GOP alleged irregularities in Goode's qualifying petitions. Cuccinelli said Friday that Goode had enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

Goode has been a Democrat, an independent and most recently a Republican during a 36-year career that spanned 12 years in Congress and 24 in the Virginia Senate.

He lost his U.S. House seat in 2008 to one-term Democrat Tom Perriello. Goode's inclusion on the ballot threatens to drain some votes from Republican Mitt Romney in Virginia, a crucial swing state.

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