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Inside Politics

Kerry to accept nomination in Boston

Candidate had considered delay to conserve campaign funds

John Kerry speaks Wednesday at a fund-raiser in Seattle, Washington.
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John F. Kerry
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America Votes 2004

SEATTLE, Washington (CNN) -- Sen. John Kerry announced Wednesday that he would accept the Democratic presidential nomination at his party's convention in July -- closing the door on a possible postponement.

"Boston is the place where America's freedom began, and it's where I want the journey to the Democratic nomination to be completed," Kerry said in a written statement released by his campaign.

"On Thursday, July 29, with great pride, I will accept my party's nomination for president in the city of Boston.

"From there, we will begin our journey to a new America," he said.

Kerry had considered postponing his official acceptance of the nomination in a bid to preserve his campaign war chest for the fight against President Bush.

But that possible tactic came under fire by some Democrats who said it would create more perception problems than it would be worth. And Republicans had poked fun at Kerry, saying it showed him waffling on his own nomination.

Under federal campaign rules, once a candidate accepts the party nomination, the campaign is limited to spending around $75 million.

The Republican convention is five weeks later than the Democratic convention, meaning Kerry's $75 million would start being drained more than a month earlier than Bush's.

By postponing the acceptance of the nomination, Kerry could have continued to spend the private money he raised during the primary season, and those funds would not have been counted against the $75 million limit.

Kerry referenced the funding advantage that Republicans enjoy by virtue of the convention timetable.

"We believe it is right to start the general election on the same day as our opponents, and we will continue to explore every possible way to level the playing field against the Republicans' five-week advantage," Kerry said.

"We also believe it is right to accept the nomination in Boston, and are looking forward to it with excitement, energy and enthusiasm.".

Kerry was campaigning in Seattle on Wednesday, where he criticized Bush on homeland security.(Full story)

The Democratic convention is scheduled for July 26 to July 29; the Republican convention is from August 30 to September 2.

Kerry's statement was released less than an hour after Boston's Democratic Mayor Thomas Menino appeared on CNN and urged Kerry to get "beyond all the nonsense" and "get on with it."

"My Republican friends are laughing at us because of the indecision we're going through," Menino told CNN's "Inside Politics."

"You can't make a campaign about money. It's not about money. It's about issues. It's about what the future is for the American people, and that's what this should be all about: What's your policy and how you're going to make America better for all our people."

A Kerry adviser traveling with the senator from Massachusetts said Kerry felt that accepting the nomination "was best for the party."

"He felt like pulling the trigger today," the adviser said.

The adviser said the campaign is still looking at options to deal with the GOP having a five-week advantage, including encouraging people to support and give money to national and local Democratic parties.

Boston's mayor said one fund-raising initiative Wednesday morning raised over $900,000.

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