Former Senator and 2000 presidential contender Bill Bradley has thrown his support to former Vermont Governor Howard Dean for president.

Mr. Bradley announced his endorsement during an appearance with the former Vermont governor in the early primary state of New Hampshire. "In 2000, many Americans in Iowa, New Hampshire, and across the country gave me their support, and I continue to consider their confidence a sacred trust," he said. "This year, many of them have asked me who among this very capable group of candidates I would recommend. My answer is Howard Dean."

Howard Dean now has the endorsements of the two Democrats who ran for president in 2000. Former Vice President Al Gore endorsed Mr. Dean last month.

It is not clear how much impact the Bradley endorsement will have on the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. Howard Dean is considered the frontrunner among the nine Democrats vying to challenge President Bush in the November election.

In the 2000 campaign, Bill Bradley lost to Al Gore in the Iowa Caucuses, but nearly beat him in the New Hampshire primary. Public opinion polls indicate Mr. Dean has a narrow lead for the January 19th vote in Iowa and a larger lead in the New Hampshire primary that will follow a week later.

Some of Mr. Dean's rivals for the Democratic nomination dismissed the Bradley endorsement. Retired General Wesley Clark said it will be up to Democratic voters to pick a party nominee and that they do not need others to tell them what to do.