Published September 22, 2004
| Associated Press
Ralph Nader criticized Democrats on Tuesday for backing dozens of lawsuits to keep him off state ballots, but said he is more committed than ever to continue his long-shot bid for president.
"It just reinforces our determination and the need to try to break up these kinds of ballot access determinations," the independent said.
Nader said he plans to be in Coral Gables, Fla., next week during the first presidential debate between Sen. John Kerry (search) and President Bush, though he was not invited to attend. He said he has called the Commission on Presidential Debates to request tickets, but has not heard back.
Democrats nationwide have challenged Nader's ballot petitions, fearing his candidacy will siphon votes from Kerry, especially in battleground states such as Florida. Many Democrats blame Nader's presidential candidacy for Democrat Al Gore's loss in 2000.
This year, the campaign has faced 21 legal proceedings in 17 states because of lawsuits challenging Nader's ability to get on the ballot. Nader is currently on the ballot in more than 30 states, including Wisconsin, where the state elections board agreed to keep him on the ballot Tuesday despite challenges from Democrats.