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Major candidates make deadline for state primary

MONTGOMERY (AP) — UFOs apparently won't be an issue in the presidential primary in Alabama.

Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who says he saw one, didn't make Wednesday's qualifying deadline for Alabama's primary.

Many other Democratic and Republican presidential candidates did make the deadline, with some, including New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, filing the qualifying fee and voter signatures on the final day.

In the Democratic presidential debate on Oct. 30, Kucinich confirmed seeing an unidentified flying object at the Washington state home of actress Shirley MacLaine. But Kucinich apparently didn't see a role for himself in Alabama's early primary.

"They didn't respond to anything we sent," party executive director Jim Spearman said.

Kucinich's campaign also didn't respond to a request from the Associated Press for comment.

The headquarters of both major Alabama political parties were busy on the final day for qualifying for the Feb. 5 primary.

Clinton's supporters arrived at the Democratic Party headquarters in Montgomery on Wednesday morning with 2,360 signatures of Alabama voters — nearly five times the 500 signatures that are required to get on the primary ballot. The signatures came from all 67 counties.

"We wanted to make sure the people of Alabama knew her support was not just in one area, but went all around the state," said volunteer Becky Nichols, the daughter of former Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley.

The Democratic campaigns of Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Delaware Sen. Joe Biden also filed qualifying papers and signatures Wednesday. Party officials had hoped to hear from Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel on Wednesday, but his campaign did not file anything, Spearman said.

Two other Democratic candidates, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, filed their Alabama qualifying papers earlier in the campaign.

Republican qualifiers

At the Republican Party headquarters, conservative commentator Alan Keyes and Birmingham physician Hugh Cort filed to run on the final day. Party executive director John Ross said the party headquarters was staying open late because supporters of California Rep. Dunan Hunter were rounding up the final signatures to get him qualified.

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo filed earlier in the campaign.

Wednesday was also the deadline for Republicans to sign up to be delegates for the presidential candidates at the Republican National Convention. Nearly 300 put in their names.

Among those signing up to be Romney delegates were former Ambassador Bill Cabiniss of Birmingham, State Treasurer Kay Ivey, and U.S. Reps. Mike Rogers of Saks and Robert Aderholt of Haleyville.

McCain's list included U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus of Birmingham and Attorney Gen. Troy King.

Thompson has several legislators wanting to be delegates, including Senate Minority Leader Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia Hills, Sen. Larry Dixon of Montgomery and Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale.

Huckabee's list included state Sen. Hank Erwin of Montevallo.

Democrats seeking to be presidential delegates have until Dec. 7 to sign up.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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