2012 ELECTION

Virgil Goode on Virginia's presidential ballot

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Conservative former Rep. Virgil Goode will appear on Virginia's presidential ballot after state election officials rejected a Republican-led effort to keep him off.

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Republicans fear Goode will drain votes from their candidate, Mitt Romney, in a swing state where polls show a deadlocked race.

Virginia's State Board of Elections acted Tuesday after the state GOP challenged Goode's qualifying petitions and sought an independent review. But the Republican-dominated board also asked Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the state police to investigate.

The former congressman is the nominee of the conservative Constitution Party, and has held office as a Democrat, independent and Republican. He lost the seat to Democrat Tom Perriello in 2008.

Goode has called the GOP's action a heavy-handed effort to control ballot access and intimidate third-party participation.

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