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Lieberman Joins Expanding Field of Democratic Presidential Candidates

Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut has become the latest Democrat to announce he is running for president in 2004.

Senator Lieberman went home to his old high school in Stamford, Connecticut, to make his announcement.

"Two years ago, we were promised a better America. But that promise has not been kept. So today, I am ready to put our country first to fight what is right for the American people," he said. "I am ready to protect their security, to revive their economy and to uphold their values. Yes, I am ready to announce today that I am a candidate for president of the United States in 2004, and I intend to win."

Senator Lieberman was Al Gore's vice presidential running mate on the 2000 Democratic ticket. Public opinion polls indicate he is one of the frontrunners in what has become a crowded field for the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination.

Senator Lieberman supports President George W. Bush's stand on Iraq, but says the administration has "mishandled" the situation regarding North Korea. The Connecticut Democrat says his campaign will focus on keeping the United States safe from terrorists and on reviving the U.S. economy.

If he were to win the Democratic presidential nomination, Senator Lieberman would be the first Jewish-American nominee at the head of a major party ticket.

Senator Lieberman joins a rapidly expanding group of Democrats seeking the White House next year. Those who have already taken steps toward a candidacy include former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt, and Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina.

New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton said Sunday that he also intends to run for president next year. "The world, because of technology and communication, is one village," he said on NBC's Meet the Press program, "and I, more than anyone talking about running, understands the village and, I feel, represents the priorities that the village must deal with in order to survive as a planet."

Others considering a run include Senators Bob Graham of Florida and Joseph Biden of Delaware and Connecticut's other Democratic Senator, Chris Dodd.