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Va. Democrat Wants Al Gore to Run in 2008

March 16, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Democrat Al Gore, who in 2000 lost one of the closest presidential elections in U.S. history to Republican George W. Bush, should run for president in 2008, a congressman said Wednesday.

Questioned about the contest, Democratic Rep. Jim Moran of Virginia said: ``I’d like to see him get into the race.″

``He won the popular vote in 2000, and I think he’s even stronger and more committed,″ Moran said Wednesday on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal. ``But you know, he’s got his own life and it’s his decision to make.″

Gore has retreated into private life in Tennessee since his contested loss to Bush in the 2000 election. But the former vice president occasionally delivers spirited speeches criticizing Bush administration policies and promoting his views on foreign policy, the environment and other issues.

Last weekend, Gore returned to Florida where he lost the presidency by a few hundred votes to campaign for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson. During the trip, Gore jokingly referred to himself as ``a recovering politician.″

A spokesman for Gore had no immediate reaction to Moran’s comments.

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A Philadelphia real estate broker who was Sen. Rick Santorum’s only Republican primary challenger is dropping out of the race.

John Featherman said Wednesday that he decided it wasn’t worth the money to fight the state Republican Party, which on Tuesday challenged his application to be on the ballot.

Featherman filed 2,207 signatures with the application. The Secretary of State’s office tossed out 185, and the party filed a challenge to 1,073 signatures, said Scott Migli, executive director of the state GOP. The party cited errors such as blank boxes and Democrats who signed the petitions.

``I didn’t see the sense in making our side spend any more money,″ Featherman said.

Featherman got just under 48,000 votes in a race against Santorum, Democrat Ron Klink and two other candidates as the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 2000. He also ran unsuccessfully for Congress in a special election in 1998.

Democrat Bob Casey has led Santorum in the polls.

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A new political action committee to put veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars in Congress has picked seven candidates to endorse.

``These candidates truly are the A-Team,″ Jon Soltz, the executive director of the PAC and an Iraq war veteran, said Wednesday. ``Every single one of them are in a position to win their races if given the proper support, which we promise to deliver to them.″

Retired Army Gen. Wesley Clark, a former Democratic presidential candidate, is heading the advisory board of the group, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America PAC.

All seven of the candidates the group is backing are Democrats, but Soltz said the group isn’t ruling out supporting a Republican in the future.

The PAC is endorsing Tammy Duckworth in her bid for an open seat in Illinois. The other candidates are all challengers.

They are Andrew Horne, in Kentucky; Andrew Duck, in Maryland; Tim Dunn, in North Carolina; David Harris, in Texas; and Joe Sestak and Patrick Murphy, in two separate Pennsylvania races.

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Associated Press writers Kimberly Hefling and Nancy Zuckerbrod in Washington and Martha Raffaele in Harrisburg, Pa., contributed to this report.

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