Race On to Head Democrats

From Associated Press

Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack told Democratic leaders Friday that he may seek the party’s top job as the jockeying to replace Chairman Terry McAuliffe intensified.

Vilsack, an ally of presidential nominee John F. Kerry, telephoned several Democratic National Committee members as he traveled in Europe, seeking their advice and asking them to withhold their endorsements of any candidate until he decided whether to seek the job.

There is a long list of other Democrats interested in the job, including former Kerry rival Howard Dean, who began calling DNC members this week seeking support. The 400-plus DNC membership meets in February to select a replacement for McAuliffe, who is not seeking another term.

Among those interested in the job or being asked to pursue it: Harold M. Ickes, advisor to former President Clinton; former Gov. Roy Barnes of Georgia; former Housing Secretary Henry G. Cisneros; Simon Rosenberg, founder and president of the centrist New Democrat Network; Gov. Mark R. Warner of Virginia; and Art Torres, the California party chairman.