> >DNC candidate Fowler gets a boost

: DNC candidate Fowler gets a boost

: DNC candidate Fowler gets a boost.


A group of state party leaders slowed Howard Dean's fast-moving campaign to become Democratic Party chairman by backing Donnie Fowler.

The executive committee of state party chairs voted Sunday to endorse the 37-year-old Fowler, who headed Sen. John Kerry's successful presidential nominating campaign in Michigan last year.

Fowler has worked on campaigns in more than a dozen states and is the son of former Democratic National Committee chairman Donald Fowler of South Carolina.

The executive committee's nod for Fowler was to be submitted Monday in a conference call involving all state Democratic chairs. Fowler reportedly gained ground on a second vote by the committee to put him ahead of Dean.

Dean, a 2004 presidential candidate and former Vermont governor, has already gotten the backing of state party chairs in Vermont, Washington state, Florida, Oklahoma and Mississippi. He also has the backing of dozens of other DNC members.

Some Democrats have been looking for a way to stop Dean, who was the front-runner for the party's presidential nomination until the Iowa primaries.

Fowler said the vote from the chairs suggests any aura of "inevitably is over" for Dean's candidacy. Former Rep. Martin Frost of Texas, thought by some to be the alternative to Dean, is hoping for a boost from organized labor when the AFL-CIO decides this week whom to endorse.

Dean has gotten support from party leaders from various parts of the country and expects more, spokeswoman Laura Gross said.

Seven candidates are in the running for the chairman's job, with the election set for February 12.



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