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For nostalgic Democratic loyalists, John-John may revive memories of the White House of John F. Kennedy and the former president's young son, but four decades later, the name also fits the 2004 election ticket.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry named former primary rival and fellow U.S. senator John Edwards as his running mate on Tuesday in what was one of the most secretive selection processes in history.

The senator from North Carolina got the vice-presidential nod over another former primary rival, Rep. Richard Gephardt of Missouri, as well as Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack.

The selection ends the usual widespread speculation over a presidential running mate and puts the focus on the Kerry campaign at a time when the senator from Massachusetts in trying to bring new traction to his bid.

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Edwards, a first-term senator, was the last to step out of the race after Kerry established a string of primary victories and a commanding lead as the candidate to fulfill his party's quest to unseat President Bush in November's general election. The latest polls show a very close race.

Edwards, 51, developed a reputation as a charismatic campaigner with a populist touch, despite being a millionaire trial lawyer.