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Dole May Bow Out of Fund-Raiser

September 26, 1996| From a Times Staff Writer

IRVINE — While Republican leaders in California are actively selling a $10,000-a-couple dinner with presidential candidate Bob Dole in Orange County, Dole campaign officials say it is unlikely the GOP standard-bearer will attend.

If Dole does not appear at Monday's event, it likely will disappoint some of the Republican donors who received invitations to the "intimate dinner" limited to 100 couples at the Irvine Hyatt Regency, hosted by Orange County financial and political powerhouse George Argyros.

The event is being sold to about 500 of the state's top GOP donors and touted as "our one opportunity prior to November to privately meet with Sen. Dole," according to invitations mailed Sept. 16 from Argyros' Costa Mesa offices.

Ken Khachigian, Dole's chief California strategist, said Wednesday night that Dole's attendance at the Argyros' fund-raiser had been under consideration earlier in the week, but it had never been confirmed. Now "my understanding is it got complicated with the debate preparation," he said.

Regardless of the word from the Dole campaign here or in Washington, California's Republican leadership was insisting late Wednesday that Dole's attendance was confirmed.

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