Talk show host Jerry Springer launched a new website yesterday (11JUN03) - to test voter support for a possible US Senate campaign in Ohio.

T-shirts, autographed photographs and CDs of Springer playing a guitar and singing country songs will be sold on the site, says his political adviser MIKE FORD.

The Jerry Springer Show host, 59, wants to reach people who don't normally vote and who will be willing to make small contributions on his behalf, says Ford. Response to the WWW.RUNJERRYRUN.COM website will help him decide whether to run.

Ford says, "A lot of people are left out of the political system and they're not supposed to be. We're going to activate them."

Springer has travelled the state for months to determine whether to run in the 2004 US Senate race in Ohio. State Senator ERIC FINGERHUT, who's already announced his candidacy, has criticised Springer's website, blasting, "It's a cynical attempt to somehow manufacture support."

Springer resigned from Ohio's CINCINNATI CITY COUNCIL in 1974 after admitting in federal court that he wrote personal cheques to pay prostitutes. He later was elected mayor and lost a bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in 1982.

12/06/2003 09:06