Du Pont says he is best choice for GOP nod


WILMINGTON, Del. -- Former Gov. Pierre du Pont IV, saying 'I want to run. I want to win,' Tuesday announced formation of a presidential campaign committee.

The scion of one of America's richest families said he would put off a formal announcement of his candidacy until fall when he determines if he can raise enough money for a campaign.


'I want to run. I want to win,' he told 800 supporters in a private meeting, adding that he was notifying the Federal Election Committee of the new Pete du Pont for President Committee to begin raising an estimated $6 million before the 1988 Republican primaries.

The affable, smooth-speaking former governor placed himself squarely in the tradition of Ronald Reagan and said he would seek to continue Reagan's policies.

'Matching his success may be an awesome task for any individual,' du Pont said. 'But because of his presidency it will be a whole lot easier to find the right answers and put them to work.'

Du Pont said the other GOP candidates have no experience in running a government, only in assisting the president or as legislators.

'Lots of Republican leaders espouse the principles that have brought us to where we are today,' he said. 'President Reagan and I were among the few who literally governed with them.'


Du Pont, 51, is credited in large measure with restoring the economic stability of Delaware through tight budgets, constitutional spending limitations and tax cuts during his two-term governorship.

A letter announcing the candidacy was delivered to Reagan Monday, du Pont said, adding an endorsement 'would certainly be nice, but I don't think it's essential.'

Committee finance chairman Edmund Carpenter II, a Wilmington lawyer, said a minimum of $6 million is needed to fund the campaign through the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 28, 1988.

Supporters were invited to donate $1,000 to become 'founding members' of the committee.

Other Republicans frequently mentioned as likely candidates are Vice President George Bush, New York Rep. Jack Kemp, TV evangelist Pat Robertson, Senate Leader Robert Dole and former Senate Leader Howard Baker.

Du Pont was governor from 1976 to 1984 and before that served three terms in Congress.

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