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PEROT'S PARTY FAILS TO MAKE BALLOT IN TEXAS

Ross Perot's Reform Party won't be on the November ballot in his home state.

Supporters already have turned in signatures to put Perot on the Texas ballot as an independent but are abandoning efforts to get his new political party officially recognized there this year.Russ Verney, national coordinator for the Reform Party, played down the significance of the decision, saying getting a candidate on the presidential ballot was the goal in 1996.

"We have accomplished getting our presidential and vice presidential candidates on the state ballot," Verney said Monday.

Perot hasn't said whether he'll run for president again, and his spot on the independent ballot could be filled by another candidate selected by the Reform Party.

But by ending its petition drive, the Reform Party has given up any hope of establishing long-term ballot access through this year's election.

Getting the party a permanent spot on the Texas ballot and into a position where it can run congressional and Senate candidates as well as presidential contenders probably "will be a six-, eight-, 10-year process," Verney said.

Perot is listed as an independent candidate in South Dakota and Tennessee. The Reform Party has been officially recognized in New Mexico, California, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Carolina, Maine and Ohio.