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Senator Graham Joins 2004 Race for Presidency - 2003-02-28

Senator Bob Graham of Florida is adding his name to the growing list of Democrats running for president next year. Senator Graham became the ninth Democrat to join the race for the White House in 2004, when he filed papers to set up a presidential fundraising committee.

Mr. Graham, 66, is recuperating from major heart surgery in January. He brings a formidable resume to the campaign for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

Bob Graham served as Florida's governor for eight years before winning the Senate seat he now holds in 1986. Senator Graham has built a reputation as a political moderate but he has been a sharp critic of President Bush's decision to disarm Iraq by force if necessary.

He voted against giving the president congressional authority to go to war against Iraq and has urged the administration to refocus its priorities on the war on terrorism.

Mr. Graham joins a crowded Democratic field that already includes three other Senators, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, John Kerry of Massachusetts and John Edwards of North Carolina. Two House members are running as well: Richard Gephardt of Missouri and Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

The other candidates are former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, former Illinois Senator Carol Moseley-Braun and New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton.

As crowded as that field is, it could grow even larger in the weeks ahead. At least four other Democrats are considering a presidential bid as well.