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Bill Bradley Endorses Howard Dean

By AP/Bill Raack

St. Louis – Former senator and presidential candidate Bill Bradley is turning his back on a fellow Missourian, and endorsing Democratic front-runner Howard Dean instead.

Bradley, who is a native of Crystal City, Missouri, passed on the chance to endorse St. Louisan Dick Gephardt.

Bradley told a New Hampshire crowd Tuesday that Dean's candidacy is one of the "best things" to happen to American democracy in decades. Gephardt says he is not disappointed by the news.

"I've talked to Bill a number of times during the year," Gephardt said. "I met with him in New York in the spring and he is a good friend and he's someone I enjoyed working with, just like I did Al Gore. But, you know, you're never going to get all the endorsements."

Gephardt says that while endorsements are important and sought-after, they will not determine the winner of the Democratic nomination.