Reform Party endorsement gets Nader on seven states’ ballots

? The Reform Party endorsed independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Tuesday, giving him access to ballot lines in seven states, including Florida, Michigan, Kansas and South Carolina, just days after he failed to get on the ballot in Texas.

“This endorsement shows that our independent campaign is receiving support from across the political spectrum from people upset with President Bush and looking to shift the power back to the people so a solution revolution can take hold and solve many of the nagging problems and injustices in our society,” Nader said Wednesday.

Nader participated in a teleconference with the Reform Party board and several Reform Party presidential candidates Monday night. The party opted not to have a presidential nominating convention and instead held teleconferences Monday and Tuesday.

“We’re very excited,” Reform Party Chairman Shawn O’Hara said Wednesday after the party announced its endorsement.

The Reform Party, founded by Dallas billionaire Ross Perot after his 1992 presidential bid, has seen its ranks depleted after it split into two warring factions in 2000. But the showing by presidential nominee Pat Buchanan in the 2000 election was enough to retain ballot lines in seven states: Florida, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado, Montana, Mississippi and South Carolina.

O’Hara estimated his party’s current strength at about 1 million advocates.

Nader sued Texas on Monday after failing to collect the nearly 65,000 signatures required by state law to get on the ballot as an independent. He said he would continue trying to get on all 50 state ballots as an independent.