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Lamm Still Mulling Reform Party Presidential Bid

June 20, 1996

DENVER (AP) _ Former Colorado Gov. Richard Lamm said Wednesday he will decide next month whether to seek the presidential nomination of Ross Perot’s Reform Party.

Meanwhile, Reform Party supporters plan to circulate petitions starting Thursday to get a presidential ticket on the November election ballot in Colorado.

At a news conference announcing the petition drive, Lamm said it is possible he could be the party’s standard-bearer, even though the petitions to be circulated carry the name of Perot and a Colorado party member, retired lawyer James R. Wilson of Golden.

They have ``loaned their names″ for the ballot, said state Reform Party acting chairwoman Rosemarie Sax.

Lamm, who has not said whether he would allow his name to be put in nomination, said he will decide around July 20.

``This only gets Reform Party candidates on the ballot,″ he told reporters in a conference room two floors above the office he occupied as governor from 1975 to 1987.

Perot has said he’ll only run if he’s drafted and previously Lamm said he’ll only run if Perot doesn’t.

Lamm said his own candidacy still has hurdles, including ``what Perot might do, and whether it is feasible to run a campaign if you don’t have Ross Perot’s money, and whether there is time to run a campaign without it.″

Lamm said he didn’t know whether, by the power of his own ideas, he could fund a candidacy and carry the flag of the Reform Party.

``This truly a hard choice, and the first choice of hard choices is to get all the facts,″ he said.

The party has until July 15 to gather the signatures of 5,000 registered voters to submit to the secretary of state’s office.

Individuals who belong to other political parties may sign the petitions.

Should different candidates be selected after Reform Party’s August convention, the names could be changed on the general election ballot, Sax said.

Lamm, still a registered Democrat in Colorado, said it is important to get a third choice on the ballot, and this ``gives us a wonderful opportunity, in mid-August, to come in with a whole new slate, who will bring us, hopefully, a breath of fresh air to what increasingly looks like a stale political year.″

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