New York Times
July 3, 2000
ONLY TWO NAMES ON REFORM BALLOT
By The New York Times
When balloting begins on Wednesday in the Reform Party presidential primary, voters will have only two choices: Patrick J. Buchanan, the former conservative television commentator, and John Hagelin, a physicist.
The Reform presidential nominations committee has denied a request by Ross Perot, the party founder -- who won a spot in the primary through signature petitions -- that he be allowed to substitute "No Endorsement" for his name on the ballot to let voters protest the quality of the other candidates.
"It was not consistent with the rules," said Michael Farris, the committee chairman. "We felt that his name would have to appear on the ballot in some semblance of his legal name. Otherwise, it would lead to confusion, and that was the long and the short of it."
Mr. Farris said the committee also denied an appeal by the Buchanan campaign to bar Mr. Hagelin from seeking the presidency under the banner of another party if he lost to Mr. Buchanan. Mr. Hagelin was the nominee of the Natural Law Party in 1996.
Mr. Farris said it was not within the province of the party's leaders to tell Mr. Hagelin what he could or could not do if Mr. Buchanan were to win the Reform nomination.
"If they want to bring it up in the course of their campaign, that's up to them," he said of Mr. Buchanan's supporters. "We don't feel we had the discretion to tell Mr. Hagelin what to do."