Friday, August 25, 2000

Ohio ballot may include seven candidates for president

By John McCarthy
The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — Five minor-party candidates likely will appear on Ohio's presidential ballot Nov. 7, despite a history of little voter support in the state.

        Along with Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore, candidates from at least four other parties have asked to be on the ballot. If he qualifies, Pat Buchanan, the Reform Party candidate who is fighting for his party's nomination, would appear as an independent, as would two others.

        Mr. Buchanan's campaign filed petitions containing 9,908 signatures with Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's office late Wednesday. The petitions must include 5,000 valid signatures of registered voters to qualify.

        The deadline for submitting the petitions was Thursday and local boards of election should certify the signatures by Aug. 31, said Carlo LoParo, Mr. Blackwell's spokesman.

        Other minor-party candidates who filed petitions include Ralph Nader of the Green Party, an environmental advocacy party, and Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party, which extolls conservative causes.

        All three would be on the ballot as independents because their parties did not get the 33,000 signatures needed.

        Libertarian Harry Browne and Natural Law Party candidate John Hagelin, who is battling Mr. Buchanan for the Reform nomination, will be listed as their parties' candidates because they got the required signatures.


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