SHARPTON forms committee to explore bid for Democratic presidential nomination

Monday, August 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ New York civil rights activist Al Sharpton said Monday he will form a committee to explore a possible bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004.

``Progressive leadership is in a deep crisis at the moment in the Democratic party and outside,'' Sharpton said at a news conference. He accused the Democratic Party of moving to the right.

He said his lifelong record of dealing with public policy makes him less of a long shot than some others mentioned as presidential hopefuls. Sharpton said that his campaign, if he runs, would focus on reforming the criminal justice and election systems.

Cornell West, a Harvard professor of African-American studies and philosophy, will head Sharpton's exploratory committee.

Sharpton unsuccessfully ran for the Senate in 1994 and for New York City mayor in 1997.