Michigan supporters of Al Gore are launching a petition drive to make sure his name can be on the Jan. 15 presidential primary ballot if he decides to enter the race.
They have to submit 12,396 valid signatures to the secretary of state's office by Oct. 23 to get the job done. Gore won Michigan in his unsuccessful 2000 presidential bid, but so far has not said he'll run.
Under rules for the Jan. 15 Michigan primary, the state party chairmen had to give the secretary of state's office by Sept. 11 a list of potential nominees who would be on their respective ballots.
State Democratic Chairman Mark Brewer didn't include Gore on that list, because the former vice president and 2000 presidential nominee hasn't indicated he plans to run next year.
But Gore backers say that's unfair.
"We are doing this out of our conviction that Al Gore is the best qualified candidate for president," said Bob Alexander, who is co-chairman of the petition campaign. "We're hopeful that Al Gore may become an announced presidential candidate sometime in October."
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