Sharpton's Long Hot Summer

The Rev. Al Sharpton, floating himself as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president in 2004, said Tuesday that he would embark on a national tour to document what he called the "disenfranchisement" of black voters in the 2000 presidential race.

"I have been encouraged in the last 24 hours by people all over this country to make this run for president, so they will have a voice and a way to express their outrage in the undermining of the political process and in the undermining of a fair election last year," Sharpton said at a press conference at a midtown hotel.

"I'm announcing that there needs to be a candidate and I'm available to be that candidate and I'm going around this country to mobilize around that idea," Sharpton said.

He said his June tour would take him from the Northeast to the Midwest to California. "It is my intention to gather the data to show that the disenfranchisement was much worse than was reported."

Sharpton said that if he decides to run, he believes he has a shot at winning Democratic primaries in New York, New Jersey and California. "We would come into the Democratic convention with a bloc of votes that could not be ignored," Sharpton said.