WILMINGTON, Del. — Calling for compulsory drug testing for teen-agers, former Delaware Gov. Pete du Pont declared his candidacy today for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination, the first in a long line of candidates expected to form in the 25 months before Election Day.
Du Pont referred to "the graceful, confident leadership of Ronald Reagan" and added:
"Sooner than we realize, he will step down from the presidency; so we must begin to think about who will next lead this country, and in what direction."
Du Pont, descended from one of the nation's foremost corporate families, announced his candidacy in the Du Pont Hotel not far from the headquarters of Du Pont Co., the giant chemical firm.
Immediately after his speech, Du Pont caught a plane for New Hampshire, the state that holds the first presidential primary.