Gore close to naming running mate

Friday, August 4th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. – Vice President Al Gore confirmed Thursday that he has narrowed his list of potential running mates.

"It's down to six with one wild card that I haven't completely eliminated,'' Mr. Gore said during a walk on the beach.

Those under consideration include Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts, John Edwards of North Carolina, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Evan Bayh of Indiana, say Democrats familiar with the search.

Gov. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri, who have said they are not interested, also are said to be on the list.

Mr. Gore, however, wouldn't play the names game. Asked about various candidates, he said, "I don't know who you have heard or not heard."

He suggested there are a couple not on the "great mentioners'' list.

Mr. Gore is expected to make the announcement Tuesday in Nashville.

Since arriving on Figure Eight Island for vacation, he has conferred daily by telephone with former Secretary of State Warren Christopher, who is conducting the search.

Mr. Gore has met with Mr. Gephardt, who is said to be more interested in helping Democrats win back the House, and with other candidates he has declined to name.

He called Mr. Kerry this week to express condolences about the death of his father. But Gore aides said there was no discussion about joining the ticket.