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Bay State GOP Candidates Give Bush Rally a Miss

PRESIDENT Bush ventured into thick Democratic territory last week for a brief campaign visit to Massachusetts, report Monitor staff writers Elizabeth Ross and Shelby Siems. Bush gave a 15-minute speech in Dorchester to accept the endorsement of the Boston Police Patrolman's Association, the same police union that backed him in 1988.

This year, however, Bush received a somewhat lackluster reception in Boston. A disaster was only narrowly averted when the president's campaign people persuaded several children and teenagers to hold aloft Bush/Quayle signs for the cameras. One boy, however, was less than enthusiastic. He responded: "I'm not going to do that."

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One enthusiastic Bush supporter was Albert "Dapper" O'Neil. The conservative Democrat, who is acting president of the Boston City Council, delivered a resounding endorsement of the president.

The colorful politician told the audience that he is no "turncoat," but said his party affiliation comes second to his duty to his country. Referring to Bush, he said: "I feel safe with him. If I had to be in a foxhole, I'd be in it with him."

But it doesn't look like the nine Massachusetts Republican congressional candidates running this year feel too safe with the president. Not a single one of them attended the public Bush event, although they were present later at a private fund-raiser. This beats a runoff?

Most politicians win elections by getting the most votes. In one Arizona race, on the other hand, the winner was the man with the best cards.

Richard Kyle and John Gaylord, tied in a primary race, played a hand of five-card stud to select the Republican candidate for a state House seat. Republican House Speaker Jane Hull, wearing a dealer's green visor and arm garters, dealt the cards as the candidates faced each other in Superior Court. Mr. Kyle turned over a pair of sevens, which proved good enough to give him the GOP nomination.

It's a good thing the presidential race isn't settled in the same manner. That would give a whole new meaning to the common description of Ross Perot as the "wild card" in the election.

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