(CNSNews.com) - If Al Gore decides to launch another bid for the White House, he should not expect other Democratic hopefuls to step aside and make it easy for him to obtain the party's nomination, Democratic officials say.
"I don't think anybody's got it locked up," David J. Leland, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party, told the Washington Times. "There are a lot people testing the waters. In 1968, Richard Nixon, who had been the vice president and lost the presidency in 1960, had to go out there and do all those chicken dinner speeches again. You have to go out there and ask them to vote.
"There will be more Democrats running for president in 2004 than were running in 2000. I don't know if he'll be one of them," Leland said.
Leland added that if Gore did run, he would have to campaign just as hard or harder than he did in the 2000 election.
"Historically, it has been tougher to run a second time around," Leland said.
The possible Democratic candidates include, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt of Missouri, Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota, Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.
Also, Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, Gore's running mate in 2000, has been talked about as a contender, but Lieberman has said he will not run if Gore does.