Gephardt sets sights on control of House

Thursday, June 20, 2002

WASHINGTON -- While most Democratic presidential hopefuls are watching Al Gore, Rep. Dick Gephardt is eyeing a different prize: control of the U.S. House.

Gephardt rose to Democratic leader in 1995, the year a Republican takeover thrust him into the minority. Now he spends nearly every other weekend campaigning for candidates around the country and has raised more than $15 million to help Democrats win the majority.

"We're working hard on that, I am totally focused on that and I will figure out what comes after that, after that," he told Fox News.

"We've got to figure out the result of that election, and then I'll figure out what I should do next. I want to win the House back, and not because I can be speaker, but because I want a different agenda for your House of Representatives," Gephardt said. These efforts will help if Gephardt decides to seek the White House. His travel has taken him to Iowa, New Hampshire and several other states with early primaries that are key to winning the presidential nomination.

He sought the White House in 1988, winning the Iowa precinct caucuses before being forced from the race. He considered a try in 1999, Gephardt bowed out to devote himself to winning back the House.

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