MONTPELIER, Vt. – Democrat John Edwards (search) will not be on the ballot for Vermont's presidential primary March 2, a costly decision for the presidential candidate.
In January, when Howard Dean (search) was still considered the front-runner, Edwards and several other candidates -- Rep. Dick Gephardt of Missouri, Al Sharpton and Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut -- decided not to file to get on the primary ballot in Dean's home state.
The deadline for a petition with 1,000 signatures from Vermont voters and $2,000 check was Jan. 20.
A month later, Dean, Gephardt and Lieberman have dropped out of the race, and the contest stands as a two-man race between John Kerry (search), the four-term Massachusetts senator who is on the ballot, and Edwards.
At stake March 2 in Vermont are 15 pledged delegates. Kerry already has more than a fourth of the 2,162 delegates needed to win the nomination, having pocketed 618 thus far, according to an Associated Press analysis. Edwards, the North Carolina senator, has 192.
Other candidates on the ballot include Wesley Clark, who abandoned his bid, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio. Dean, who quit campaigning on Wednesday, also remains on the ballot.