Thursday, July 20, 2000

Green Party may get Nader on Ohio's ballot

Petition drive nets 10,000 signatures

By Howard Wilkinson
Cincinnati Enquirer

        Ohio supporters of Ralph Nader's Green Party presidential candidacy say their statewide petition drive has produced enough signatures to get their candidate on Ohio's ballot this fall.

        A statewide network of volunteers has collected about 10,000 signatures to submit to the Ohio Secretary of State's office next month, according to Paul Du mouchelle, treasurer of the Green Party of Ohio.

        Mr. Nader has to file as an independent candidate because the Green Party does not have ballot status in Ohio. To qualify, he must have the valid signatures of at least 5,000 registered voters.

        “It was a lot of hard work by a group of volunteers all over the state who made it happen,” said Mr. Dumouchelle, who estimated the Green Party spent only about $300 on the petition drive.

        Mr. Nader, the longtime consumer activist, is mounting a presidential campaign that many see as a threat to the chances of Democrat Al Gore.

        Friday, he will bring his campaign to Ohio with a 6:30 p.m. speech at Ohio State University's Independence Hall in Columbus.

        The Ohio Poll conducted in April by the University of Cincinnati's Institute for Policy Research had Mr. Nader with 4 percent of voter support in Ohio and 3 percent for Pat Buchanan, who is running for the Reform Party nomination.

        In that poll, Republican George W. Bush led Mr. Gore 47 percent to 39 percent.

        The Reform Party does not have ballot status in Ohio, either, but Mr. Buchanan's campaign is expected to submit petitions to the Ohio Secretary of State's office before the Aug. 24 deadline to run Mr. Buchanan as an independent in Ohio.

        Hamilton County Democratic Party chairman Tim Burke said he is convinced Mr. Nader “will fade away” as the campaign grinds on.

        “Nobody except the delusional thinks he is going to be elected president,” Mr. Burke said.


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