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CAMPAIGN 2000

Buchanan Off Calif. Ballot; Hagelin's Name May Go On

August 25, 2000|MASSIE RITSCH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Pat Buchanan has been removed from California's presidential ballot and may be replaced by his Reform Party rival, John Hagelin.

The secretary of state's office announced Thursday that it is taking Buchanan off the November ballot at the request of California's Reform Party. The state party's leadership had narrowly voted last week to withdraw the conservative firebrand's name and is expected to name physicist Hagelin as California's Reform candidate by the Aug. 31 deadline.

Buchanan's attorney said the campaign will challenge the secretary of state's decision, possibly in the courts.

After the Reform Party splintered at its convention two weeks ago in Long Beach, Buchanan and Hagelin each have been campaigning as the legitimate Reform nominee. Meanwhile, their campaigns have been scrambling state by state to secure their respective candidate on as many ballots as possible--not only to improve their admittedly slim odds of being elected president but also to have a shot at the $12.6 million that the Federal Election Commission owes the Reform Party for its 2000 campaign.

Election officials in several states have been flummoxed by the Reform Party's disorder and, facing deadlines to print their ballots, have turned to unusual means to resolve the confusion.

In Iowa, Buchanan, a former Republican, will be listed as the Reform candidate because his name was drawn Thursday from a salad bowl. Hagelin, who won a drawing Thursday in Montana, will still appear on the Iowa ballot as a candidate "nominated by petition" or as the candidate of the Natural Law Party, which he has represented in the last two presidential elections.

Kansas election officials took another approach: On Wednesday they rejected Buchanan's and Hagelin's petitions to be on the state's ballot. Connecticut has indicated it will do the same if the party cannot settle on a single candidate.

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