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GOP CONVENTION '96

California, Here They Come

August 16, 1996

The general election campaign in California begins in earnest today with teams of Dole-Kemp surrogates making campaign appearances in eight cities. Look for House Speaker Newt Gingrich in Fresno, Bakersfield, and Stockton. California Atty. General Dan Lungren and New Hampshire Gov. Steven Merrill, national chairman of the Dole-Kemp campaign, will be in Burbank. Mississippi Gov. Kirk Fordice goes to Ontario; Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will travel to Eureka, and Michigan Gov. John M. Engler will be in San Francisco and San Ramon.

A Historic Nomination

At 73, Bob Dole has made history as the oldest first-time, major-party presidential nominee in the nation's history. The previous oldest was Ronald Reagan, who was 69 when he claimed the GOP nod in 1980. The youngest: William Jennings Bryan, who at 36 was only a year over the Constitution's minimum required age for the presidency when the Democrats tabbed him as their standard-bearer in 1896. Also, the more-than-23-year gap in ages between Dole and President Clinton, who turns 50 on Monday, is the largest between the two major-party presidential contenders.

Old Hat

U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina--the oldest U.S. senator--racked up his 15th national political convention this week. "I don't know of anybody whose ever been to that many," Thurmond said. "There are not very many people as old as I am--I'm 93." His first was the 1932 Democratic National Convention that nominated Franklin D. Roosevelt in Chicago, where he was a delegate.

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