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Howard Dean rallies supporters in N.Y.

Howard Dean rallies supporters in N.Y.

It seemed like old times: Howard Dean lambasted the Republicans in a speech before 300 cheering supporters at a union hall on Sunday. Now, however, he is running not for president but for the national chairmanship of the Democratic Party. "In the last election we, frankly, ran the best grassroots campaign I have seen in the Democratic Party in my lifetime," said Dean, the front-runner among the seven contenders for chairmanship of the party. "But theirs was better." The former Vermont governor and unsuccessful presidential candidate said the GOP rode the issues of "guns, God, and gays" to victory in 2004. "The reason they picked those issues is, they got nothing to say about jobs, health care, and education," he said, adding that the United States must not remain the only industrialized nation without universal health coverage. He also said he was "sickened" by the ballot initiatives in 11 states last year banning same-sex marriage. "The only reason to put gay marriage on the ballot in those 11 states was to scapegoat a minority that was unpopular in order to win an election," he said. Dean's appearance at the 1199 Service Employees International Union health care workers' union hall came one day after he appeared with the six other candidates for the Democratic Party chairmanship during a regional caucus in Manhattan of the Democratic National Committee. The other candidates are former Texas representative Martin Frost, former Indiana representative Tim Roemer, former Denver mayor Wellington Webb, Democratic activists Donnie Fowler and Simon Rosenberg, and Ohio state chair David Leland. The DNC will hold its election on February 12 in Washington, D.C. (AP)

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