VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — A special prosecutor will investigate potential campaign violations in Virginia over signatures that were gathered to place an independent congressional candidate on November's ballot.

The Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney's Office says a special prosecutor was requested Tuesday. A judge appointed Roanoke Commonwealth's Attorney Donald Caldwell.

Four people claim they never signed a petition that successfully put independent candidate Shaun Brown on November's ballot, despite their signatures' appearance on the petition. Another woman says her dead husband's name is on the petition.

WHRO-FM reported that the signatures were collected by Republican Rep. Scott Taylor's campaign staff. The move has been seen as an effort to split the Democratic vote in Virginia's 2nd District. Taylor is running against Democrat Elaine Luria. Taylor says his staff acted in good faith.