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Kerry Echoes Call For Superdelegates To Decide By July 1

Sen. John F. Kerry, the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, joined the growing chorus of high-profile Democrats who believe superdelegates should come together and make a decision on the Democratic nominee by July 1.

Kerry (D-Mass.), who has endorsed Barack Obama, said on ABC's "This Week" that the spring and early summer is critical for a presidential candidate to get geared up for the general election, and the Democratic fighting is giving John McCain a free pass to build momentum.

But Kerry stopped short of calling for Hillary Rodham Clinton to drop out of the Democratic race, saying she has "every right in the world to continue to fight." Two other New England senators, Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Chris Dodd of Connecticut, called on Clinton this week to get out of the race.

Kerry joined Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean and Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen in a demand that the superdelegates — who will inevitably determine the Democratic nominee — make a group decision by July 1. The last primary is June 7 in Puerto Rico.

Clinton, however, told reporters on Friday that she is staying in the campaign until the convention.