CONCORD, N.H. — Forty-five hopefuls from 23 states have filed official papers as candidates in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary, state officials said Friday.
Candidates, each of whom must pay a fee of $1,000, had a Friday deadline to sign up formally for the Feb. 20 primary.
Twenty-two Republicans, 21 Democrats and two Libertarians signed up, New Hampshire officials said.
The eight top Republicans who filed for their party's nomination are: Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas, Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas, Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, former Tennessee Gov. Lamar Alexander, publishing magnate Steve Forbes, former State Department official Alan Keyes, conservative commentator Patrick J. Buchanan and Rep. Robert K. Dornan of Garden Grove.
Notably absent from the list is Republican Harold Stassen, the former Minnesota governor who has run 10 times since 1948.
"I'm now 88 and that's a long time to have been around," he said. "I'll still be an activist within the Republican Party, but I'm not sure I'll be a candidate again."
On the Democratic side, President Clinton faces no major opposition from his party.
"We're celebrating tonight," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Joseph Keefe. "For the first time in 30 years a Democratic candidate has been unopposed for the nomination. That shows wide support for President Clinton across the spectrum of the party."