Posted 12:01am February 20
by Nell McGarity
U-WIRE Washington Bureau
Tuesday night’s Wisconsin primary brought a narrow victory for presidential hopeful John Kerry, and also signaled the end of one time front-runner Howard Dean’s bid for the White House.
Kerry, D-Mass., garnered 40 percent of the vote. Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., trailed close behind with 34 percent. Dean finished a distant third with 18 percent.
“The motto of the state of Wisconsin is ‘Forward,’ and I want to thank the state of Wisconsin for moving this cause and this campaign forward,” Kerry told chanting supporters in Madison, Wis.
Overall, Kerry has won 15 of 17 contests, losing South Carolina to Edwards and Oklahoma to Gen. Wesley Clark, who has dropped out of the race. The former Vermont governor has failed to win any of the primaries, and depleted much of his once hefty war chest.
Dean was once considered the front-runner, but since the Iowa Caucuses on January 19, Kerry has been considered the front-runner.
Dean’s dismal results brought a press conference Wednesday afternoon where he announced the end of his pursuit for the presidency.
“We will, however, continue to build a new organization using our enormous grass-roots network to continue the effort to transform the Democratic Party and to change our country,” he said.
Dean’s campaign earned much of their early attention and donations through an internet campaign.
Dean also urged his supporters to remain active during the primaries and to support the nominee of the Democratic Party. While he did not endorse any of his fellow candidate’s, he vowed to support the party.
“I will support the nominee of our party,” Dean said. “I will do everything I can to beat George W. Bush. I urge you to do the same. But we will not be above in this organization of letting our nominee know that we expect them to adhere to the standards that this organization has set for decency, honest, integrity and standing up for ordinary American working people.”
With Dean’s withdrawal, the field has shrunk considerably. The race has narrowed from nine to Kerry, Edwards, Al Sharpton, and Denis Kucinich as the March 2 Super Tuesday primaries quickly approach where there are 10 states up for grabs and a total of 1151 delegates, or 26 percent, at stake.