Nader to run for president as Green Party candidate
WASHINGTON -- Consumer advocate Ralph Nader plans to announce his candidacy for president next Monday, President's Day.
Nader, 65, will campaign for the nomination of the Green Party, a small party best known in California where it has elected more than a dozen local officials. It is Nader's third campaign for the White House. He ran as a write-in presidential candidate in 1992, and as the 1996 nominee of the Green Party.
Nader won 684,902 votes in the 1996 presidential election and 2 percent of the vote in California.
Born to Lebanese immigrant parents in Connecticut, Nader is a Harvard-trained lawyer who has taken on a vast range ofissues, ranging from an unsafe General Motors car, the Corvair,later withdrawn from the market, to banning smoking on airline flights.
He was named by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 50 people who most influenced business this century, and has spent his professional life as an adversary to products he perceives as dangerous.
In a January 17 column published on the Web site of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Nader accused the Republican and Democratic parties of purposely keeping small political parties off the ballot.
In a subsequent column, he took on the national and local media for failing to ask tough questions of presidential candidates.
"Every four years, campaigns revolve around a half-dozen issues that are drably questioned and drearily answered," he wrote.
"Too much power in the hands of the few has further weakened our democracy in the past 20 years. People need stronger civic tools to band together, learn together and act together to make the Big Boys behave," he wrote.
He and his team of investigators, popularly dubbed "Nader's Raiders," have since the 1960s pushed for legislative change and raised public awareness through consumer associations throughout the industrial world.
Nader works out of the Center for Responsive Law in Washington and lives nearby in a studio apartment. A bachelor, he does not own a television or car and has few interests outside his work.
Reuters contributed to this report.