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Ralph Nader Visits Springfield

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader was on the Drury University campus Thursday as part of the school's convocation series. During a press conference before his speech, he said that he will challenge the decision by Secretary of State Matt Blunt to keep him off the ballot. He says he has enough signatures. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.

ABOUT 400 PEOPLE GATHERED AT DRURY UNIVERSITY IN SPRINGFIELD TO HEAR RALPH NADER RAIL AGAINST THE POWER OF CORPORATIONS IN AMERICA.

BUT BEFORE HIS SPEECH, HE MET WITH REPORTERS TO RAIL AGAINST THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S DECISION TO KEEP HIM OFF THE BALLOT.

NADER SAYS HIS FIGHT TO SEE HIS NAME ON THE MISSOURI BALLOT ISN'T OVER.

SOME DEMOCRATS LABEL NADER A SPOILER...THEY SAY THEY FEAR NADAR COULD SIPHON AWAY VOTES FROM DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE JOHN KERRY, A FRIGHTFUL THOUGHT IN WHAT'S EXPECTED TO BE A CLOSE RACE BETWEEN KERRY AND PRESIDENT BUSH.

NADAR SAYS HE REJECTS THE IDEA THAT HE'S A SPOILER WHO IS HARMFUL TO THE POLITICAL PROCESS.

THOUGH IT'S WIDELY ACCEPTED THAT HE'S UNLIKELY TO WIN THE PRESIDENCY, NADAR SAYS THAT'S NOT A REASON TO BACK DOWN.

EVEN THOUGH HE HOPES VOTERS WILL EMBRACE HIS UNDERDOG IMAGE, MADAR ACKNOWLEDGES HE'S UNLIKELY TO WIN.

SOME HAVE SPECULATED THAT NADER'S DECISION TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT THIS YEAR HAS TO MORE TO DO WITH HIS EGO AND LESS TO DO WITH RUNNING AN ACTUAL CAMPAIGN.

NADER REJECTS THAT NOTION.

NADER'S VISIT TO THE DRURY UNIVERSITY CAMPUS WAS PART OF THE SCHOOL'S CONVOCATION SERIES ENTITLED "FOR THE COMMON GOOD."

DRURY FRESHMAN BROOKS MART SAYS SHE WANTED TO HEAR NADAR SPEAK FOR SIMPLE REASON:

BROOK SAYS SHE WOULD GO INTO THE SPEECH WITH AN OPEN MIND SINCE SHE HADN'T CONSIDERED WHO SHE WILL SUPPORT IN THIS YEAR'S ELECTION.

DURING HIS SPEECH, NADAR URGED STUDENTS TO TAKE BACK POWER FOR THE PEOPLE.

THIS IS JUST ONE OF THE ISSUES NADER IS FOCUSING ON THIS ELECTION SEASON AS HE SEEKS TO SET HIMSELF APART FROM PRESIDENT BUSH AND JOHN KERRY.

SOME DEMOCRATS SAY NADER SHOULD BE HELPING THEM INSTEAD OF RUNNING AN INDEPENDENT CAMPAIGN.

A SPOKESMAN FOR THE MISSOURI DEMOCRATIC PARTY TOLD THE ASSOCIATED PRESS THAT NADAR'S INTENTION TO APPEAL THE SECRETARY OF STATE'S DECISION TO KEEP HIS NAME OFF THE BALLOT IS QUOTE-OBVIOUS DESPERATION."