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NAVY VETERAN IS PEROT'S `INTERIM' RUNNING MATE

Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot on Monday named retired Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale, a former Vietnam prisoner of war, as his "interim" running mate in a possible independent bid for the White House.

Perot said Stockdale had agreed to serve as his vice presidential candidate until a permanent selection is made later this year, around the time of the major party conventions this summer."Until then, Admiral Stockdale has agreed to allow his name to be placed with mine on the petitions, so that volunteers can continue," Perot said in a statement.

Perot has said he will launch an independent bid for the White House if supporters are able to place his name on the ballot in all 50 states. More than 25 states require a president and vice president team for ballot petitions.

Stockdale was a combat pilot in Vietnam and led the first bomb attack on North Vietnam in 1964. He was shot down and captured a year later and spent the next 71/2 years in solitary confinement.