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Vermont's Gov. Dean Eyes A 2000 Run

dean

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AllPolitics, Dec. 5) -- Is Vermont's Democratic Gov. Howard Dean eyeing a bid for the White House in 2000?

Signals point that way as Dean met this week with Vice President Al Gore and reportedly told the current party front-runner that he is taking a serious look at making a run, White House and Democratic sources told CNN..

The two men met Wednesday in the vice president's White House office when Dean gave Gore an "indication that he is strongly inclined to run," one White House official told CNN. Another White House official agreed with that characterization.

Dean's office denied the governor told Gore he was definitely running, as was reported in today's Wall Street Journal. "[Dean] unequivocally did not tell Gore that he is running for president," a senior Dean official said. The official would not characterize the discussion between Dean and Gore other than to acknowledge it has been reported that Dean is thinking about running for the top job.

Dean, a doctor, has been governor of Vermont since 1991. One of only 17 Democratic governors in the nation and the current chairman of the Democratic Governors' Association, Dean is considered to be a bright spot for the party, especially as a Washington outsider.

Last month Dean said he was considering a potential run but would not make the decision until next year. Nevertheless, the Vermont governor has since been plagued by inquiries and speculation about his plans. He refused to answer any more questions on the subject at a news conference Tuesday, saying, "I'm not going to play the game anymore."

Dean is viewed as a strong supporter of Clinton and Gore, and it was previously thought that he would only enter the race if Gore's campaign faltered.

Gore is considered the current front-runner for his party's nomination, despite his embroilment in the fund-raising scandal. But he is expected to face stiff competition.

Other names mentioned as possible contenders include House Minority Leaders Dick Gephardt and Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska, head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

CNN's Carin Dessauer contributed to this report.

In Other News:

Friday Dec. 5, 1997

Vermont's Gov. Dean Eyes A 2000 Run
Paula Jones Must Turn Over More Documents
Clinton: Tax-Cut Talk Is Premature
Recess Appointment Likely For Lee
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