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Sen. Campbell Considering Bid for U. S. Senate Seat

May 02, 1985|MIKE WARD | Times Staff Writer

State Sen. William Campbell (R-Hacienda Heights) says he will decide at the end of summer whether to run for the U. S. Senate in 1986 and probably will enter the race if major league baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth doesn't.

Campbell said the reputation Ueberroth built in organizing the Los Angeles Olympics puts him "in a class by himself" with voters, making him nearly unbeatable.

Ueberroth and actor Charlton Heston have often been mentioned as potential Republican candidates for the Senate seat held by Democrat Alan Cranston, but both have said they are not interested.

If Ueberroth does not run, Campbell said, "it will be a wide-open race."

Campbell said a statewide poll that he commissioned showed that his name was familiar to 33% of the voters, ranking him behind Ueberroth and Heston but ahead of many other potential candidates, including economist Arthur Laffer, Rep. Bobbi Fiedler (R-Northridge) and state Sen. Ed Davis (R-Valencia).

Exposure as GOP Leader

Although he has never run for a statewide office, Campbell said his years as state Senate Republican leader from 1978 to 1983 put his name before voters frequently as chief legislative spokesman for the party.

Campbell said he would need to raise $1 million to $2 million to run a successful primary campaign. He is organizing a committee to assess his financial and political support.

"We're taking soundings up and down the state," Campbell said. "We're getting a lot of encouragement."

Campbell, 49, would be in the middle of a four-year state Senate term in 1986 and could run for the U. S. Senate without giving up his seat. He served four terms in the Assembly before being elected to the Senate in 1976.

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