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Perot Party Plans Maryland Petition Drive

March 14, 1996

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) _ Ross Perot’s Maryland supporters will begin a drive this weekend to put the Reform Party on the ballot for the November presidential election.

The party needs signatures of 10,000 registered voters, but unlike some other states, signers do not have to join the party.

``You just have to sign a petition saying you think we have a right to be on the ballot,″ said Bernie Abell, a volunteer at the state headquarters here said.

Perot has said for months that his new party will run a candidate for president, but he has not said whether he will be the candidate.

In announcing the Maryland push, Perot said his party will be the swing vote in a lot of elections.

``We’re in a unique position to be the swing vote. And particularly in the House and the Senate, we will endorse either the Democrat or Republican candidate in every race, we will have an organized swing vote, and they will bat almost .1000 in getting those candidates to the House and Senate elected that are committed to reforms that need to be made.″

Representatives of the Democratic and Republican parties said Democrats will probably benefit in Maryland if Perot runs for president.

In 1992, Clinton got 50 percent of the Maryland vote, his best showing in the nation outside Arkansas. Then-President Bush got 36 percent and Perot got 14 percent.

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