Jeffords Campaigns for Vt. Gov. Dean
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) _ Vermont Sen. Jim Jeffords, who despite being an independent has become one of the Democratic Party’s biggest fund-raisers, is lending his support to Gov. Howard Dean’s presidential bid.
Jeffords said Wednesday he will help Dean raise money and meet potential supporters. ``I think if people take a look at Howard, they will take a second look at him,″ he said.
Jeffords’ decision last year to abandon the Republican Party gave Democrats control of the Senate. Last February, he headlined a $10,000-a-plate dinner for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee that raised more than $6 million.
Dean is the only Democrat openly campaigning for the 2004 nomination. He has kept up a hectic campaign pace for months but lacks the fund-raising ability of more prominent potential Democratic candidates.
``I am really grateful,″ Dean said of Jeffords’ aid. ``Jim and I have been very close for a long time. Our politics are very similar.″
Jeffords has not formally endorsed Dean, but has arranged a series of joint appearances and fund-raisers with him next week in California.