Morning Roundup, Jan. 16

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Rick Perry, a Republican presidential candidate and Texas governor, has appealed a federal judge’s ruling that bars him and three other GOP contenders from appearing on Virginia’s March 6 primary ballot. In a motion filed Sunday with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, Mr. Perry’s attorneys argue that the U.S. District Court in Richmond abused its discretion Friday when it ruled Mr. Perry’s lawsuit was filed unreasonably late in the proceedings, reports David Sherfinski of The Washington Times.

If a snowstorm foils an upcoming pro-D.C. statehood vote in Florida this year, then the city’s decades-long voting rights effort might indeed be ill-fated. D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Council members postponed a trip Thursday to the New Hampshire because a winter storm forced state lawmakers to cancel voting on a resolution to support D.C. voting rights in Congress. It was the second time in four years that snow nixed the vote and travel plans. But D.C. officials can take heart in efforts under way in Tallahassee, where Florida state Rep. Alan Williams has introduced a resolution that urges Congress to admit the District of Columbia as the country’s 51st state, reports Tom Howell Jr. of The Times.

D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray has released a long-awaited record of the funds he raised and spent for his transition into office last year, revealing more than $30,000 in payments to the Maryland man at the center of an investigation into the Democratic mayor’s campaign activities, The Times reports.

Just in case anyone wasn’t clear that Bob McDonnell was interested in being picked for the GOP ticket this year, the Virginia governor came to Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Saturday to help seed the talk. One week before South Carolina’s primary, McDonnell — not formally a candidate for anything, but whose aspirations for the national stage are no secret — flew in Saturday for a town hall meeting with freshman Rep. Tim Scott, a tea party favorite. He spent nearly an hour touting his accomplishments and attacking President Barack Obama, according to Politico.

In Virginia, a key GOP bloc appears stuck in neutral while Republican voters and officials nationwide are choosing sides in the presidential race. As of Friday, not one of Virginia’s eight Republican members of Congress had lined up behind a presidential candidate, even as many colleagues in other states had taken the plunge. Nationwide, close to one-third of Republican House members — 76 out of 242, according to a tally maintained by Roll Call — have endorsed a White House hopeful, according to The Washington Post.

Virginia gun-control advocates are bringing their message to the General Assembly. The Virginia Center for Public Safety plans a vigil for victims of gun violence Monday night at the state capitol in Richmond. Members also will seek the ear of state legislators to encourage them to toughen the state’s gun laws, according to the Associated Press.

At least eight House candidates in Maryland — including four prominent contenders — are running this year in congressional districts that do not encompass their own homes, according to a review of property records and recent candidate by the Baltimore Sun.

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