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Sen. Bob Kerrey said Sunday that he was leaving the door open to a possible White House run in 2000 but denied that Vice President Gore's fund-raising headaches from the last campaign would be a factor in his decision.

Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat, described Gore as having an all but "prohibitive" lock on their party's nomination for now. He said that it was too early to tell whether Gore had been hurt politically by allegations of wrongdoing in the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign.

"I mean it's a long ways from now 'til 2000," Kerrey said on the NBC television program "Meet the Press."

Kerrey is a former Navy elite special operations officer who lost a leg in Vietnam and won a Medal of Honor. He sought the 1992 Democratic nomination before Bill Clinton clinched it.

On Nov. 1, he will pay another visit to New Hampshire, home of the first primary election of the 2000 campaign.

Asked the significance of his New Hampshire trips -- he visited two weeks ago as well -- Kerrey replied: "It means that I have kept the door open to the possibility that I might run for president. But I'm not organizing an effort, nor am I trying to enlist support at the moment."

Kerrey heads the Democrats' Senatorial Campaign Committee.

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